At the 2021 Oscars, playwright Florian Zeller shared in the Oscar win for Best Adapted Screenplay with Christopher Hampton for bring his stage hit “The Father” to the screen.In his directorial debut Zeller bagged Anthony Hopkins his second Best Actor Oscar. (Scroll down for the most up-to-date 2022 Oscars predictions for Best Adapted Screenplay and be sure to check out our predictions for Best Original Screenplay.)
Screen versions of stage works had won Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars 15 times before. The most recent of these was in 2017 when “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney prevailed for adapting the latter’s un-produced play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.” Prior to that you have to go all the way back to 1989 when Alfred Uhry won for adapting his hit play “Driving Miss Daisy.”
At the 2020 Academy Awards, “Jojo Rabbit” director Taika Waititi won for bringing Christine Leunens novel “Caging Skies” to the big screen. This award, which dates back to the first Oscars in 1928, has gone to the adapters of 47 novels over the year. The most recent of these prior to 2020 was in 2018 when James Ivory won his first Oscar for his adaptation of André Aciman‘s novel “Call Me by Your Name.”
In between those two years, “BlacKkKlansman” director Spike Lee shared in the win for Best Adapted Screenplay for his written work on Ron Stallworth‘s memoir of the same name. In the 93-year history of this category, only a dozen adaptations of such books have prevailed. Five of those non-fiction books adaptations were winners in the last decade: “The Social Network” (2011), “Argo” (2012), “12 Years a Slave” (2013) and “The Imitation Game” (2014) and “The Big Short” (2015).
Short stories provided source material for seven winners, with “Brokeback Mountain” in 2005 being the most recent. And remakes of other films and teleplays account for four winners, the most recent of which was 2006’s “The Departed” (adapted from the film “Infernal Affairs”). One-off sources have included a newspaper column (“Mrs. Miniver”) and a short film (“Sling Blade”).
UPDATED: January 22, 2022
Please note: To read full descriptions of each film, check out our 2022 Oscar Best Picture predictions.
Leading Contenders (ranked by likelihood of winning)
“The Power of the Dog”: Jane Campion
“CODA”: Sian Heder
“The Lost Daughter”: Maggie Gyllenhaal
“West Side Story”: Tony Kushner
“Dune”: Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth
“The Tragedy of Macbeth”: Joel Coen
Strong Contenders (alphabetical by title)
“Drive My Car”: Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe
“House of Gucci”: Becky Johnston, Roberto Bentivegna
“Nightmare Alley”: Guillermo del Toro, Kim Morgan
“Passing”: Rebecca Hall
“tick, tick … BOOM!”: Steven Levenson
Possible Contenders (alphabetical by title)
“Cyrano”: Erica Schmidt
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”: Abe Sylvia
“The Green Knight”: David Lowery
“The Last Duel”: Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon
“No Time to Die”: Cary Fukunaga, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Phoebe Waller-Bridge
“The Tender Bar”: William Monahan
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