Media outlets by the bucketload are righteously bemoaning the omission of Nope from this year’s recently-revealed Oscars lineup, but Jordan Peele’s all-original sky terror flick is still scoring big with the people who professionally put ambitious screen ideas to paper.
Peele makes the grade this year with members of the Writers Guild of America, with Nope earning a coveted spot on the freshly-revealed short list of the WGA’s 2023 nominees for best Original Screenplay. The Universal Pictures film is indeed an all-original — and all-Peele — creative affair, with Peele serving not only as Nope’s screenwriter, but also its co-producer and director.
Universal fielded not one, but two, movies in the Original Screenplay category this year, with Nope facing a little in-house studio competition from The Fabelmans, Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical drama inspired by his childhood love of filmmaking. Spielberg and co-writer Tony Kushner picked up the WGA nod amid a nominees list that also includes elegantly-crafted screenplays for Everything Everywhere All At Once (written by Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert), The Menu (Seth Reiss & Will Tracy), and Tár (Todd Field).
The other headline-making category rounds up the year’s worthiest film screenplays adapted from other material, and it places the wind squarely at Rian Johnson’s back just as his new small-screen mystery series Poker Face gets set to kick off this week at Peacock. Weirdly, Johnson’s original Knives Out movie from 2019 assured Glass Onion a slot among the Adapted Screenplay nominees — rather than making the Original Screenplay list — since it’s technically a sequel based on a prior work (never mind, of course, that Johnson himself came up with the whole concept in the first place).
A similarly technical case of sequel-itis also placed Top Gun: Maverick on the Adapted Screenplay list, thanks to the high-flying Tom Cruise flick’s followup status, albeit separated by a whopping 36 years, from the original Top Gun. Maverick earned the nod for a soaring screenplay by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie, from a story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks.
Joining Glass Onion and Top Gun: Maverick on the Adapted Screenplay list of nomiees are more well-written heavy hitters, including Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (with a screenplay by Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole from a story by Coogler), Universal’s She Said (screenplay by Rebecca Lenkiewicz), and Women Talking (screenplay by Sarah Polley). The WGA’s full list of 2023 nominees can be found here, where more genre-friendly nods go to small-screen standouts for best Drama Series including Andor, Severance, and Yellowjackets.
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