Every year, the Writers Guild of America confounds Oscar watchers when it rules a slew of screenplays ineligible for the WGA Awards. Only scripts written under the guild’s guidelines or those of several international partners are allowed to vie for these awards. Nominations for this year’s 71st annual WGA Awards will be announced on Jan. 7 with the ceremony set for Feb. 11 to be held simultaneously in both New York and Los Angeles.
While the number of films in contention at this year’s Oscars numbers a record 347 Best Picture entries, only 63 original and 60 adapted screenplays are in the running for these precursor prizes. Those counts for the eligible contenders for the WGA Awards are up from last year’s 59 original and 47 adapted screenplay submissions.
Among those ineligible for consideration this year are some of the leading Oscar contenders, including the original screenplays for “The Favourite” and “Hereditary.” Both films ran afoul of the requirement that foreign production companies prove their eligibility via a cumbersome process.
“The Favourite” scripters Tony McNamara and Deborah Davis are all but certain to contend at the Oscars. They’ve already won a slew of regional critics prizes. “The Favourite” was directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. In 2016 years ago, he and co-writer Efthymis Filippou reaped an Oscar bid for their original script for “The Lobster” after being denied a chance to contend at the WGA Awards.
As usual, animated features are not eligible for consideration, which rules out bids for, among others, multi-hyphenate Wes Anderson for “Isle of Dogs.” He could well earn an Oscar nomination for the script his well-received film.
Which screenplays do you think will reap Oscar bids. Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions in those categories as well as the 22 others. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 22. And join in the fierce debate over the 2019 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.