Sorting Screenplays: Adapted and Original

We have a master list of 265 screenplays eligible for Oscar consideration.  We need to separate the Adapted from the Originals so that Rob can finish constructing the simulated Oscar ballot .  It’s a monster project, so can I enlist your help?  I’ve made a really rough stab at dividing them up, but I’m sure the two lists I’ve drafted are riddled with mistakes.  Please take a look after the cut and tell me what I’ve got wrong. Thanks!

Adapted Screenplays:

THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU
THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN
ALBERT NOBBS
ALOIS NEBEL
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS:CHIPWRECKED
AMIGO
@URFRENZ
ARTHUR
ATLAS SHRUGGED PART 1
BEASTLY
A BETTER LIFE
THE BIG YEAR
BIG MOMMAS: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
BRIGHTON ROCK
BUCKY LARSON BORN TO BE A STAR
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
CARNAGE
CARS 2
A CAT IN PARIS
CONAN THE BARBARIAN
THE CONSPIRATOR
CORIOLANUS
COWBOYS & ALIENS
A DANGEROUS METHOD
THE DARKEST HOUR
DAYDREAM NATION
THE DEBT
THE DESCENDANTS
THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES
DOLPHIN TALE
DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK
DREAM HOUSE
DRIVE
DRIVE ANGRY
THE EAGLE
EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE
FAST FIVE
FINAL DESTINATION 5
THE FLOWERS OF WAR
FLY AWAY
FOOTLOOSE
FRIGHT NIGHT
GAINSBOURG: A HEROIC LIFE
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
GLEE THE 3D CONCERT MOVIE
GNOMEO & JULIET
THE GREEN HORNET
GREEN LANTERN
THE HANGOVER PART II
HAPPY FEET TWO
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2
HELL AND BACK AGAIN
THE HELP
HIGHER GROUND
HITLER’S GRAVE
HOODWINKED TOO! HOOD VS. EVIL
HORRIBLE BOSSES
HUGO

I AM NUMBER FOUR
I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT
THE IDES OF MARCH
JANE EYRE
JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN
JOSE AND PILAR
JUDY MOODY AND THE NOT BUMMER SUMMER
KUNG FU PANDA 2
THE LADY
LIMITLESS
THE LINCOLN LAWYER
MACHINE GUN PREACHER
MARS NEEDS MOMS
THE MECHANIC
THE MILL & THE CROSS
MIRAL
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL
MONTE CARLO
MYSTERIES OF LISBON
MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS
MONEYBALL
THE MUPPETS
THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED
MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER
OF GODS AND MEN
ONE DAY
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES
PRIEST
THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER
PUSS IN BOOTS
REAL STEEL
RED RIDING HOOD
RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
THE RITE
THE RUM DIARY
SALVATION BOULEVARD
SANCTUM
SARAH’S KEY
SCREAM 4
SEASON OF THE WITCH
SHARK NIGHT 3D
SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS
THE SITTER
THE SKIN I LIVE IN
THE SMURFS
SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN
SOMETHING BORROWED
SOUL SURFER
SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D
STRAW DOGS
THE THING
THOR
THE THREE MUSKETEERS
TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 1
TYLER PERRY’S MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY
A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS
WAR HORSE
WATER FOR ELEPHANTS
THE WAY
WE BOUGHT A ZOO
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
WINNIE THE POOH
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
YOUNG GOETHE IN LOVE

Original Screenplays:

ABDUCTION
AFRICAN CATS
ANONYMOUS
ANOTHER EARTH
ANOTHER HAPPY DAY
ANSWERS TO NOTHING
APOLLO 18
ARRUGAS (WRINKLES)
THE ART OF GETTING BY
ARTHUR CHRISTMAS
THE ARTIST
ATTACK THE BLOCK
BACK DOOR CHANNELS: THE PRICE OF PEACE
BAD TEACHER
BATTLE: LOS ANGELES
BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST
BEAUTIFUL BOY
THE BEAVER
BEGINNERS
THE BIG BANG
BLACKTHORN
BLOODWORTH
THE BOY MIR – TEN YEARS IN AFGHANISTAN
BRIDESMAIDS
CARANCHO
CEDAR RAPIDS
CERTIFIED COPY
THE CHANGE-UP
CHICO & RITA
CIRCUMSTANCE
COLOMBIANA
THE CONQUEST
CONTAGION
COURAGEOUS
CRACKS
CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE
DAM999
THE DILEMMA
DIRTY GIRL
ELEKTRA LUXX
EVERYTHING MUST GO
EXPORTING RAYMOND
50/50
FINDING KIND
THE FIRST GRADER
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS
THE FUTURE
A GOOD OLD FASHIONED ORGY
THE GRACE CARD
THE GREATEST MIRACLE
THE GUARD
HALL PASS
HANNA
HAPPYTHANKYOUMOREPLEASE
HOP
I MELT WITH YOU
IMMORTALS
IN DARKNESS
IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY
IN SEARCH OF GOD
IN TIME
INSIDIOUS
THE IRON LADY
J. EDGAR
JACK AND JILL
JUMPING THE BROOM
JUST GO WITH IT
JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER
KILL THE IRISHMAN
LARRY CROWNE
THE LAST RIDE
LE HAVRE
LIFE, ABOVE ALL
LIKE CRAZY
MARGARET
MARGIN CALL
MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE
MEEK’S CUTOFF
MEET MONICA VELOUR
MELANCHOLIA
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
MOZART’S SISTER
THE NAMES OF LOVE
NEW YEAR’S EVE
NO STRINGS ATTACHED
NORMAN
OLIVE
OUR IDIOT BROTHER
PARIAH
PASSIONE
PAUL
POM WONDERFUL PRESENTS THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD
POTICHE
PROJECT NIM
PROM
PUNCTURE
RAMPART
RANGO
REBIRTH
RED STATE
RESTLESS
RIO
THE ROOMMATE
SENNA
A SEPARATION
SHAME
THE SMELL OF SUCCESS
A SOMEWHAT GENTLE MAN
SOURCE CODE
SUBMARINE
SUCKER PUNCH
SUPER
SUPER 8
TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT
TAKE SHELTER
TERRI
3
30 MINUTES OR LESS
TOWER HEIST
THE TREE OF LIFE
TRUST
TYRANNOSAUR
UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES
UNDEFEATED
UNKNOWN
VIVA RIVA!
WARRIOR
W.E.
WEEKEND
WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER?
THE WHISTLEBLOWER
WHITE IRISH DRINKERS
WIN WIN
WOMEN ART REVOLUTION
THE WOMEN ON THE 6TH FLOOR

YOUNG ADULT
YOUR HIGHNESS

74 Comments on this Post

  1. Last year the Academy released the reminder list, which made life easier. Without it, it is a monster.

  2. Robert A.

    Ryan, The Artist has been appearing in the precursors as an original screenplay. You have it listed as adapted.

  3. Robert A.

    Albert Nobbs is an adapted screenplay, not an original. It’s based on a short story by George Moore.

  4. No Strings Attached isn’t an original. It’s based on every romantic comedy ever made.

  5. Craig Z

    Warrior and 30 Minutes or Less are original

  6. Robert A. Thanks!

    I can’t emphasis enough how very very rough these lists are.
    I didn’t crosscheck anything at all. Mostly just hunch. That’s what I’m counting on the sharp eyes and google skills of a few industrious readers who’d like to help.

    Rob Y,
    Do you think we even need to include every single one of these titles?

    I’m sure PROM is a fine little film — but who’s going to vote for it? I’m equally sure Atlas Shrugged is a turd, so who’s going to vote for it?

    (Just trying to make the ballot tabulation and your life simpler)

  7. Craig Z

    Sucker Punch is original, Fast 5 is adapted.

  8. Robert A.

    Jane Eyre is an original screenplay–D’oh!

  9. Craig Z

    Arthur is adapted

  10. Gabriel D.

    IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY is original I think. It was written by Angie on a trip to Bosnia…

  11. That mostly looks right, except:
    -Rampart is original (I think it’s just an Ellroy script that was rewritten by Moverman.)

    -The Whistleblower is original: simply inspired by the true story. I thought it was based on the book, but the book and film were made simultaneously. (Even though my copy of the book says ‘Soon to be a major motion picture’ and has an endorsement by Weisz…)

    -Ides of March is adaptation. (based on play Farragut North.)

  12. ^
    Pat! Thank you.
    You’re so kind. “Mostly right…” except for a few humiliating errors!

    I knew Rampart was original and Ides was adapted — really I did! — I just screwed up shuffling the deck.

    ha, Richard A
    Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Cody — Diablo’s sister. The more reclusive of the legendary Cody sisters.

  13. I believe “Anonymous” should be listed under Original Screenplay.

  14. Iron Lady and J.Edgar are Original not adapted.

    I am number four is Adapted not original. Not that any of these really matter.

  15. The Artist has an original screenplay.

  16. Robert A.

    I think J. Edgar is actually original. It’s one of those weird cases where it seems like it would be adapted because it’s based on a real person, but I think it’s considered an original screenplay about a historical figure. Or at least the stuff I’m finding on Google says “based on an original screenplay by Dustin Black…”

  17. yep, I confess if it’s a biopic I assumed it was partly based on a biography. But I should know better.

    I want to delete all these comments in a few hours so it looks like I made no stupid mistakes.

  18. Tye-Grr

    I think ‘Rango’ is an Original Screenplay, not Adapted. I don’t recall it being based on anything else, and I can’t find evidence anywhere that says it was either.

  19. Mysteries of Lisbon was a book.

    The Docs have (eligible) screenplays?
    Never Say Beiber?

  20. You’ve listed Arthur Christmas as an adapted screenplay. It’s actually supposed to be under Original.

  21. These are duplicated:
    PROJECT NIM
    PROM
    PUNCTURE

  22. Also noted Mars Needs Moms is listed under Original. It’s based on a book by Berkeley Breathed.

    And The Mechanic is a remake. It should be under Adapted.

  23. You’ve also listed Cedar Rapids as Adapted. It should be under Original.

  24. Mars Needs Moms is a book

  25. Was Season of the Witch adapted? It started from a spec script, so I guess that counts.
    I checked, and the following are definitely adapted:
    Alois Nebel
    A Better Life
    The Big Year

  26. And yet another one. Just Go With It is a remake of Cactus Flower. Not an Original.

  27. is undefeated the sarah palin thing? in which case: (inspired by the book “Going Rogue: An American Life”)

  28. One Day should be classified as an Adapted work. It is based on a novel by David Nicholls.

  29. soul surfer was a book

  30. ^
    no kidding?! wow.

    (now my fear is that someone will begin to suspect I never saw Just Go With It or I Am Number Four. My street cred blown to hell.)

  31. Something Borrowed is a book

  32. I know you got this master list from the academy or something so I’m not doubting you (Ryan) or anything, but I’d really like to read the screenplay for African Cats.

  33. Of Gods and Men is giving me fits. IMDB credits are kind of vague. Wikipedia says: A scholarly book on the events was published in 2002, John W. Kiser’s The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love, and Terror in Algeria[4]. So I don’t know if the movie was adapted from that. On IMDB the only writing credits are : Xavier Beauvois (adaptation) (dialogue), Etienne Comar (scenario) . . . so . . . idk what that means.

  34. Monte Carlo is apparently a novel called Head Hunters by Jules Bass. That doesn’t sound right at all. Trust IMDB?

  35. Robert A.

    I think W.E. should be under original.

  36. Limitless is a novel

  37. ^called “The Dark Fields”

  38. The Music Never Stops is apparently based on an essay by Oliver Sacks. Go Figure.

  39. BIG MOMMAS: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON Wouldn’t this be considered adapted since it’s a sequel?

    THE WHISTLEBLOWER Based on a true story – I imagine there’s an article or book that it’s adapted from.

    In original, you’ve listed PROJECT NIM, PROM, PUNCTURE twice in a row.

    Could’ve sworn I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT was based on a book.

  40. I don’t know how she does it is a book

  41. The wikipedia page for Horrible Bosses says “based on a story by Markowitz” but I don’t know if that means a published story or like he came up with the story.

  42. Thanks for all the help, you guys. These would’ve taken me hours to check one by one.

    (BIG MOMMAS: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON — some titles are invisible to me, I didn’t even see that one)

  43. Nate,
    Undefeated is a documentary, but not the Palin atrocity.
    This other one is on the doc short list.

  44. ahh. good.

  45. How is it that documentaties are eligible?

  46. Wikipedia says that UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES is based on (or at least inspired by) a book, though I’m not sure if it’s actually credited as such.

    I think BLACKTHORN and WHITE IRISH DRINKERS are original.

  47. Ryan,

    YES all have to be listed. The readers DO nominate the titles that are head scratchers. I hope that you are keeping track of the master list.

    Rob

  48. Rob Y, I kept the master list — but I’m rearranging to correct categories right here on the site — this page will serve as the new master list. Every title is here.

  49. So Superhero films are considered Adapted because there is a source material, is that it? For instance what will The Dark Knight Rises compete in next year?

  50. So Superhero films are considered Adapted because there is a source material

    That’s right. Not only source material — but it important to make the distinction that the characters were created by someone else.

  51. Even if the story otherwise is completely original? Hmm…

    Ok, so which are the sort of films where there’s a gray area?

  52. And sequels are automatically delegated adapted as I understand it…but what about the original Pirates? It was only based on a Disney ride far as I’m aware. Not like it was taken from a comic, novel, etc.

  53. There really shouldn’t be a gray area. The boundaries are fairly straightforward, clear cut.

    If there’s a dispute, a WGA committee decides.

  54. For instance — there’s absolutely nothing in Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows that resembles anything Arthur Coan Doyle ever wrote

    — the only overlap are the names “Sherlock Holmes” “Watson” “Mrs Hudson” “Inspector Lestrade” etc, right?

    but those characters retain personality traits created by Doyle 100 years ago. So it’s an adapted screenplay. No gray area.

  55. Well that’s why looking through the list when I saw On Stranger Tides I thought about the Curse of the Black Pearl…there’s not even any names given to the characters in the ride from what I can recall, so other then having the same name as the ride wouldn’t that have been an original script?

  56. Along similar lines…what about the ridiculous Battleship movie coming out this year? ROTFL. The only source material is a boardgame, right?

  57. Reading the comments I see that “based on true stories” and more specifically biopics can be gray area ones if the film wasn’t adapting from a written source…

  58. subsequent movies were all adapted from characters developed in

    I wasn’t paying attention in 2003, so I can’t give you a definitive answer about how Curse of the Black Pearl was categorized. My guess would still be Adapted.

    If somebody could find an FYC ad from 2003 we’d know for sure.

  59. How ’bout a more relevant inquiry? lol…so I just noticed Moneyball was picked for adapted screenplay by the Women Film Journalists and I guess I wasn’t paying very close attention because all this time I thought it was an original screenplay. So I looked it up and I see there is a book as well. But what if Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game had not been written and Sorkin was the first to bring the story to light? (well other then probably some newspaper reports and such)

  60. (well other then probably some newspaper reports and such)

    Guidelines for Screenplay Classifications

    A. Adapted Screenplay

    1. Screenplays based on previously produced or published material

    novels, nonfiction books, stories
    graphic novels, comics
    plays, films, TV series, radio broadcasts
    songs
    poems
    other similar materials
    sequels, prequels, remakes

    2. Screenplays based on unpublished material not written for the screen

    journals
    galley proofs
    short stories
    other similar materials

    ======

    If a newspaper article is purely factual, doesn’t tell a narrative or describe characters, then it can be the basis for an original screenplay

    (American Gangster, Dog Day Afternoon, Almost Famous are good examples of movies inspired by magazine articles. — all Original Screenplays.)

  61. I wonder if someone has the job of doing all that research. I recall last year some where suggesting that Inception would be disqualified for original screenplay because of some obscure sources some claimed it drew from…

  62. I wonder if someone has the job of doing all that research.

    I’d guess there’s an entire staff in the arbitration department at the WGA

  63. Northstar's Ex

    And yet, both groups sometimes get it wrong…

    1987 WGA nominated “The Last Emperor” as an original screenplay, but it was sourced from the emperor’s autobiography

    2003 AMPAS nominated “The Barbarian Invasions” as an original screenplay, but it is based on and includes characters from Denys Arcand’s previous film “The Decline Of The American Empire”

  64. Northstar's Ex

    And FYI, “Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl” was submitted as an adapted screenplay according to the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences Motion Picture Credits Database:

    SCREENPLAY BY: Ted Elliott. Terry Rossio.
    STORY BY: Ted Elliott. Terry Rossio. Stuart Beattie. Jay Wolpert.
    BASED ON WALT DISNEY’S AMUSEMENT PARK RIDE Pirates of the Caribbean

  65. ^
    Thanks Northstar’s Ex

    That’s what I suspected but could find no proof.

    If for no other reason than the likelihood that the creators of the Disney attraction would want their share of credit for a billion dollar concept.

  66. Tero Heikkinen

    TITLE CARD: WINTER, 1959

    Fade in.

    INT. ROB’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

    Rob is typing on his typewriter. There’s very little light in the tiny room with no window. He’s sorting out the 2011 nominees of both Original and Adapted Screenplay. The list of nominees were delivered to him from the future, via something called FedEx. He is struggling with the titles he’s not familiar with. He’s constantly smoking and had had too many glasses of wine already. He now has to make a phone call – operator connects to the future. We see the conversation in split screen.

    ROB
    Hey, Sasha. I can’t go online in this parallel universe. How do you type Hazanazazana?

    SASHA
    Who?

    ROB
    Hazanazazana? Hazana? The French guy for The Artist?

    SASHA
    Hazanavicius?

    ROB
    Yes, that one.

    Sasha spells the director’s name while Rob writes it down on a piece of paper with his pen. They suddenly end their phone call when a doorbell rings at Rob’s apartment. Rob is still holding the paper with the director’s name when he sees a twenty-something guy standing behind the door.

    OCO
    WHAT ABOUT HARRY POTTER?

    ROB
    Stop yelling, but yes, it’s on the list. What’s your name?

    OCO
    Oco.

    ROB
    Who?

    OCO
    SsClub7MillionThousand300

    ROB
    Who?

    OCO
    HARRY POTTER, you Troll!!!

    Rob thinks about the trolls in Lord of the Rings. A series of books he had just recently read.

    ROB
    It’s unfilmable!

    He slams the door before the random guy’s face and starts weeping uncontrollably. He fears the future, he always has. His tears blurred the director’s name on the paper. He only knows that the guy is French.

    Fade out.

  67. Squasher88

    I think “The Way” is original.

  68. Submarine is adapted

  69. A BETTER LIFE is original. WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER? is adapted from a novel.

  70. Squasher88,

    The Way was based on Jack Hill’s Book.

    R,

    Submarine is adapted from a novel by Joe Dunthorne.

    Peter,

    A Better Life is original. The FYC seems to match that.
    What’s Your Number is adapted from the novel “20 Times a Lady”

  71. @tero, lol

  72. Alexandra

    Double LOL!!! :)

  73. Northstar's Ex

    OK, so I took your list over to the AMPAS Motion Picture Credits Database and found the following…

    From your original screenplays list, these have a source credit:

    ARRUGAS (WRINKLES)
    Based on the graphic novel by Paco Roca

    BLOODWORTH
    Based on the novel “Provinces Of Night” by William Gay

    CERTIFIED COPY
    adaptation by Massoumeh Lahidji

    THE CONQUEST
    adaptation by Xavier Durringer

    CRACKS
    Based on the novel by Sheila Kohler

    EVERYTHING MUST GO
    based on the short story “Why Don’t You Dance” by Raymond Carver

    IN DARKNESS
    based on the book “In The Sewers Of Lvov” by Robert Marshall

    JUST GO WITH IT
    From the screenplay “Cactus Flower” by I. A. L. Diamond
    From the stage play “Cactus Flower” by Abe Burrows
    From the French play by Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pierre Gredy

    KILL THE IRISHMAN
    Based on the bok “To Kill The Irishman” by Rick Porello

    LIFE, ABOVE ALL
    Based on the novel “Chanda’s Secrets” by Allan Stratton

    PASSIONE
    From an idea by Carlo Macchitella

    POTICHE
    Based on the play by Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pierre Gredy

    SUBMARINE
    Based on the novel by Joe Dunthorne

    UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES
    Based on “A Man Who Can Recall Past Lives” by Phra Sripariyattiweti

    UNKNOWN
    Based on the novel by Didier Van Cauwelaert

    WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER?
    Based on the book “20 Times A Lady” by Karyn Bosnak

  74. From the ones listed as adapted, these I can confidently say are actually original:
    THE DARKEST HOUR
    DREAM HOUSE
    DRIVE ANGRY
    HORRIBLE BOSSES

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