Oscar contenders La La Land and Moonlight are to go head-to-head in the original screenplay category at next month’s Writers Guild of America awards.
Damien Chazelle and Barry Jenkins, who both wrote the movies they also directed, are frontrunners in the field, which also includes Hell or High Water, Loving and Manchester By the Sea – all of which were also written by their directors.
Up for adapted screenplay are Arrival, which was adapted by Eric Heisserer from Story of Your Life, a short story by Ted Chiang; Fences, adapted by August Wilson from his own play; Hidden Figures by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly; Nocturnal Animals, written by director Tom Ford from the Austin Wright novel Tony and Susan; and Deadpool, adapted by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick from the X-Men comic books.
The last film’s final inclusion is one of a number of controversies around this year’s selection. Moonlight’s story was derived from a play and Loving from a documentary – despite both being nominated in the original screenplay category – while some have also criticised the fact the work of Tony Kushner on Fences is uncredited.
Some pundits, meanwhile, expressed surprised that the guild, who vote on nominations and subsequently for the prizes, had not found space for Whit Stillman’s Jane Austen adaptation Love & Friendship; Silence, which Martin Scorsese and Jay Cocks wrote from the novel by Shusaku Endo; or Noah Oppenheim’s Jackie.
The WGAs will be announced on 19 February.
This article was written by Catherine Shoard, for theguardian.com on Thursday 5th January 2017 16.11 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010