Oscars Predictions: Best Adapted Screenplay – ‘The Power of the Dog’ Continues Its Reign While ‘Dune’ Could Prove Its Strength With the Scribes

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Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies from film awards editor Clayton Davis. Following history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar and Emmy predictions are updated regularly with the current year's list of contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. The eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and is subject to change.

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2022 OSCARS PREDICTIONS:
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

UPDATED: Dec 23, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: It’s undeniable to see any film other than “The Power of the Dog” from Oscar-winning screenwriter Jane Campion as the frontrunner. She’s won a staggering 17 critics prizes thus far this awards season with “Drive My Car” from Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe at a distant second with three wins. The Japanese entry for international feature is also the only (current) film, other than Campion’s, to win multiple screenplay categories from critics’ groups. “CODA” from Siân Heder, “The Tragedy of Macbeth” from Joel Coen, “The Lost Daughter” from Maggie Gyllenhaal and “Nightmare Alley” from Guillermo del Toro and Kim Morgan all have a single prize each.

With “Dune” leading in seven technical category wins – production design, cinematography, costume design, film editing, sound, visual effects and score (technically eight if you add in makeup and hairstyling, which hasn’t been given out by the previously announced 29 critics groups thus far) – we’re seeking the proof of its strength with the Academy overall. One specific telling of that strength will be to muster a nomination for scribes Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth. A screenplay snub has been the Achille’s Heel for past science fiction films such as “Avatar” (2009), “Gravity” (2013) and “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015). So if it manages to capture it, I believe we can have a serious conversation about whether or not the Warner Bros feature can be the ultimate winner on Oscar night in best picture.

Speaking of unconventional contenders, after superhero films like “Logan” (2017) and “Joker” (2019) gaining attention from the Writer’s Branch, we can entertain the discussion of a film like “Spider-Man: No Way Home” by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers or “No Time to Die” by Cary Fukunaga, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Phoebe Waller-Bridge sneaking into this thinner-than-usual field.

Oscar nominations voting begins on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, and will end on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022. The official Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, with the ceremony taking place on Sunday, Mar. 27, 2022.

Awards Season Calendar (2021-2022)

. - Credit: Courtesy of Sony Pictures
. - Credit: Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:

RANK

FILM

DISTRIBUTOR

WRITER(S)

1

“The Power of the Dog”

Netflix

Jane Campion

2

“CODA”

Apple Original Films

Siân Heder

3

“The Lost Daughter”

Netflix

Maggie Gyllenhaal

4

“Drive My Car”

Janus Films/Sideshow

Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe

5

“West Side Story”

20th Century Studios

Tony Kushner

NEXT IN LINE

6

“Dune”

Warner Bros

Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth

7

“No Time to Die”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

Cary Fukunaga, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Phoebe Waller-Bridge

8

“The Tragedy of Macbeth”

Apple Original Films/A24

Joel Coen

9

“Tick, Tick … Boom!”

Netflix

Steven Levenson

10

“Nightmare Alley”

Searchlight Pictures

Guillermo del Toro, Kim Morgan

OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS

11

“Passing”

Netflix

Rebecca Hall

12

“The Tender Bar”

Amazon Studios

William Monahan

13

“Spider-Man: No Way Home”

Sony Pictures

Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers

14

“The Green Knight”

A24

David Lowery

15

“Shiva Baby”

Utopia

Emma Seligman

16

“The Last Duel”

20th Century Studios

Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon

17

“Cyrano”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

Erica Schmidt

18

“Mothering Sunday”

Sony Pictures Classics

Alice Birch

19

“A Journal for Jordan”

Sony Pictures

Virgil Williams

20

“House of Gucci”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

Becky Johnston, Roberto Bentivegna

ALSO IN CONTENTION

21

“Compartment No. 6”

Sony Pictures Classics

Juho Kuosmanen, Andris Feldmanis, Livia Ulman

22

“The Humans”

A24/Showtime

Stephen Karam

23

“The Guilty”

Netflix

Nic Pizzolatto

24

“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”

Searchlight Pictures

Abe Sylvia

25

“In the Heights”

Warner Bros

Quiara Alegría Hudes

26

“Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

Marvel Studios

Destin Daniel Cretton, Dave Callaham, Andrew Lanham

27

“A Quiet Place Part II”

Paramount Pictures

John Krasinski

28

“Eternals”

Marvel Studios

Chloe Zhao, Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo

29

“Dream Horse”

Bleecker Street

Neil McKay

30

“The Many Saints of Newark”

Warner Bros.

David Chase, Lawrence Konner

UNRANKED LISTING

“12 Mighty Orphans”

Sony Pictures Classics

Ty Roberts, Lane Garrison

“Black Widow”

Marvel Studios

Eric Pearson, Jac Shaeffer, Ned Benson

“Coming 2 America”

Amazon Studios

Kenya Barris, Barry W. Blaustein, David Sheffield, Justin Kanew

“Cry Macho”

Warner Bros.

N. Richard Nash, Nich Schenk

“Dear Evan Hansen”

Universal Pictures

Steven Levenson

“Everybody’s Talking About Jamie”

Amazon Studios

Tom MacRae

“Flag Day”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth

“My Name is Pauli Murray”

Amazon Studios

Talleah Bridges McMahon, Julie Cohen, Cinque Northern, Betsy West

“The Matrix: Resurrections”

Warner Bros.

Lana Wachowkski, David Mitchell, Aleksandar Hemon

“The Suicide Squad”

Warner Bros.

James Gunn

“The Unforgivable”

Netflix

Peter Craig, Hillary Seitz, Courtenay Miles

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Best Adapted Screenplay)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The most awarded films in Oscar history are “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at 11 statuettes. The most nominated films in Academy history are “All About Eve,” “Titanic” and “La La Land” at 14. “La La Land” is the only film of the three to have lost best picture. The most significant Oscar “losers,” meaning most nominated and walk away with zero awards, are 1977’s “The Turning Point” and 1985’s “The Color Purple” at 11 each. Only nine writers have won best adapted screenplay twice – Robert Bolt, Francis Ford Coppola, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Alexander Payne, Mario Puzo, Michael Wilson, Alvin Sargent and George Seaton. Billy Wilder had the most nominations with seven, with John Huston close behind with six. James Ivory is the oldest nominee and winner ever for “Call Me by Your Name” at 89. At the same time, Joseph L. Mankiewicz is the youngest nominee ever at 22 for “Skippy,” with Charlie Wachtel being the youngest winner at 32 for “BlacKkKlansman.” The most recent winner is Florian Zeller for “The Father.”

2022 Academy Awards Predictions

2021 Oscars predictions are here.

About the Academy Awards (Oscars)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners have been selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Seventeen branches are represented within the near 10,000 person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

  • The date for the 94th Oscars will be held on Sunday, Mar. 27, 2022

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