USC Scripter Awards nominations: ‘The Big Short,’ ‘Brooklyn,’ ‘Room’ in; ‘Carol’ and ‘Steve Jobs’ snubbed

The USC Scripter Award, now in its 28th year, honors films adapted from novels, short stories, comic books, journalism, and other screenplays with both the source material and the adapted screenplay feted. This year’s nominees include three of our five leading contenders for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars — “Room,” “The Big Short” and “Brooklyn” — as well as sixth-ranked “The Martian” and “The End of the Tour.” 

Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions

The biggest snubs were our frontrunner “Steve Jobs” by Aaron Sorkin (who won the Adapted Screenplay Oscar in 2010 for “The Social Network”) and “Carol,” which has already claimed a slew of critics awards for Phyllis Nagy

As it excludes stage-to-screen adaptations and foreign-language films, the Scripter has forecast just 11 of the eventual Oscar winners for Best Adapted Screenplay, but seven of those came in the past eight years: “The Imitation Game,” (2014), “12 Years a Slave” (2013), “Argo” (2012), “The Descendants” (2011), “The Social Network” (2010), “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008), and “No Country for Old Men” (2007). The other repeat winners were “A Beautiful Mind” (2001), “L.A. Confidential” (1997), “Sense and Sensibility” (1995) and “Schindler’s List” (1993).

Last year, three of the Oscar nominees for Adapted Screenplay first contended here: double champ “The Imitation Game” as well as “Inherent Vice” and “The Theory of Everything.” The Scripter race was rounded out with “Gone Girl” and “Wild” while the Oscars included “Whiplash” (which had been considered an original script by precursor prizes) and “American Sniper.”  

In 2014, three of the Oscar nominee were cited here first: double winner “12 Years a Slave” as well as “Captain Phillips” and “Philomena.” The Scripter race also included “The Spectacular Now” and “What Maisie Knew” while the Oscar category added “Before Midnight” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.” 

In 2012, all five Oscar nominees were recognized first by the Scripter Award: “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” and the winner of both prizes, “Argo.” They were joined by a sixth Scripter nominee that didn’t contend at the Oscars: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

In 2011, three of the five Scripter nominees went on to Oscar bids: “Moneyball” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” joined double-winner “The Descendants,” along with two films left out by the academy: “A Dangerous Method” and “Jane Eyre.”

Click here to see odds and rankings of our Oscar Experts

In 2010, “The Social Network” faced three of the other four Scripter nominees — “127 Hours,” “True Grit” and “Winter’s Bone” — at the Oscars. The fifth Scripter contender, “The Ghost Writer,” was edged out at the Oscars by “Toy Story 3” which was ineligible for consideration here. 

In 2009, “Up in the Air” prevailed with the Scripter jury over three of its competitors at the Oscars — “District 9,” “An Education” and “Precious” — as well as “Crazy Heart.” The fifth Oscar nominee was the adapted script for “In the Loop.” However, it was “Precious” that eventually won over academy voters.

This year, the selection committee considered 73 screen adaptations. In addition, these awards are adding a category for television programming and reviewed 16 adaptations before nominating four episodes of drama series and one miniseries. 

Winners will be announced at a gala dinner on February 20.

Click here to see ups and downs of Oscar races over entire awards season


The Big Short
Screenplay: Adam McKay and Charles Randolph
Source: Michael Lewis’s nonfiction work “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine”

Screenplay: Nick Hornby
Source: Colm Tóibín’s novel of the same name

The End of the Tour,”
Screenplay: Donald Margulies
Source: David Lipsky’s memoir “Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace”

The Martian
Screenplay: Drew Goddard 
Source: Andy Weir ‘s novel of the same name

Screenplay: Emma Donoghue
Source: Her novel of the same name

Compare Oscar odds: Experts vs. Editors vs. Top 24 Users vs. All Users


“Game of Thrones”: episode “Hardhome”
Screenplay: David Benioff and D. B. Weiss
Source: George R. R. Martin’ fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire” 

“The Leftovers: episode “Axis Mundi”
Screenplay: Damon Lindelof and Jacqueline Hoyt for the episode  from “
Source: Tom Perrotta’  novel of the same name by

“The Man in the High Castle”: episode “The New World”
Screenplay: Frank Spotnitz
Source: Philip K. Dick’s novel of the same name

“Masters of Sex”: episode “Full Ten Count”
Screenplay: Michelle Ashford,|
Source: Thomas Maier’s biography “Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love”

“Show Me a Hero”
Screenplay:  William F. Zorzi and David Simon
Source: Lisa Belkin’s nonfiction book of the same name

Dish all the Oscar races in our red-hot forums with Hollywood insiders

What do you think will be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars? Make your Oscar predictions beginning with this category to the right or at the bottom of this post.

You’ll compete to win our contest prizes for best picks — $500 (first place), $300 (second place) and $200 (third place) in Amazon gift certificates — a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Oscar nominations). Be sure to read our contest rules.

Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.

More News from GoldDerby