Christy Grosz edits Deadline’s awards publication Awardsline:
Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio, as well as the movie’s origins material authors Joshuah Bearman (the Wired article “The Great Escape”) and Antonio J. Mendez (Penguin book The Master Of Disguise), won the 25th Annual USC Libraries Scripter Award for best literary movie adaptation tonight at a gala held at the university’s Doheny Memorial Library. So Warner Bros’ Argo continues its nearly uninterrupted march towards the Best Picture Oscar. In fact, 4 out of the last five Scripter winners went on to win Best Adapted Screenplay Oscars, and all 5 won theWGA Award. Previous winners include The Descendants, The Social Network, Up In The Air (the only non-Oscar winner), Slumdog Millionaire, and No Country For Old Men. This evening Brokeback Mountain screenwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana received the group’s Literary Achievement Award.
The Scripter Award goes to both the screenwriters and the author of the material on which the script is based. Although there are normally 5 finalists, this year featured six because of a tie in balloting. The Scripter Award is solely given for adaptations, not for original screenplays, but it still has a prime slot during the final Academy balloting period. Argo beat out the other Scripter Award nominees: Beasts of the Southern Wild – Dramatist Lucy Alibar, who wrote the play Juicy and Delicious, and screenwriter Benh Zeitlin, who co-wrote the screenplay with Alibar; Life Of Pi – Novelist Yann Martel and screenwriter David Magee; Lincoln – Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and screenwriter Tony Kushner; Perks Of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky, author of the novel Perks of Being a Wallflower, as well as the screenplay based upon the book; Silver Linings Playbook – Author Matthew Quick and screenwriter David O. Russell.
There were a total of 82 screenplays in the field of candidates. The winners were chosen by a selection committee co-chaired by Naomi Foner and Howard Rodman, who’s also vice president of the Writers Guild of America, West. The USC Libraries Scripter Award was established in 1988 by the Friends of the USC Libraries as a way to celebrate writers and writing, honoring the year’s best adaptation of printed words into film.