×

WGA honors Tom Stoppard

Writer to receive lifetime achievement prize

The Writers Guild of America has tapped Tom Stoppard to receive its Laurel Award for Screen for lifetime achievement in writing for motion pictures. Stoppard will be honored at the WGA West Coast awards ceremony on Feb. 17 at L.A. Live.

“A television writer since 1965 and a screenwriter since 1975, Tom Stoppard brings wit, elegance and heart to all he composes,” said WGA West VP Howard A. Rodman. “We did not want to let his acknowledged brilliance as a playwright to blind us to his dramatic talents in our own field. From ‘The Romantic Englishwoman’ through ‘Despair,’ ‘The Human Factor,’ ‘Brazil,’ ‘Empire of the Sun,’ ‘The Russia House,’ ‘Billy Bathgate,’ ‘Shakespeare in Love,’ ‘Enigma,’ ‘Vatel’ and this past year’s ‘Anna Karenina,’ Stoppard’s screenplays delight, disturb, entrance. Whether adapting the masters — Nabokov, Greene, Ballard, le Carre, Doctorow, Tolstoy — or crafting his own tales, Stoppard brings dignity and coherence to the act of imagination.”

Popular on Variety

Stoppard has been a member of the WGA West since 1991. He and Marc Norman wrote the original screenplay for “Shakespeare In Love,” which won the Oscar, WGA and Golden Globe.

Stoppard was a born in Czechoslovakia in 1937 and was 2 years old when his family fled imminent Nazi occupation for Singapore. He lived in India and began his career in England in 1954 as a journalist, then a film critic and became a playwright with “A Walk on the Water” in 1960.

He earned Tony Awards for Best Play for “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,” “Travesties,” “The Real Thing” and the three-play cycle “Coast of Utopia.”

Stoppard’s TV writing credits include the telefilms “A Separate Piece,” “Neutral Ground,” “The Boundary,” “Three Men in a Boat,” “On the Razzle,” “Squaring the Circle,” “Largo Desolato” and adaptations of his own plays “Travesties,” “A Walk on the Water,” and “The Dog It Was That Died.”

Previous winners of the Laurel Award for Screen include David Mamet, Lawrence Kasdan, Robert Benton, Barry Levinson, Steven Zaillian, and Eric Roth.

Stoppard’s adaptation of “Anna Karenina” was not eligible for the WGA adapted screenplay award this year.

The guild’s restrictions require that scripts be produced under WGA jurisdiction or under a collective bargaining agreement in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the U.K. and that the scripts be formally submitted for consideration.

More Film

  • NARCOS MEXICO

    Gaumont Scales Down U.S. Operations, Anticipates Big Losses (EXCLUSIVE)

    Gaumont, the once thriving French studio behind “The Intouchables” and “Narcos,” is set to rejig its film and TV strategy as it anticipates heavy losses in 2019. Variety can reveal that the company has all but shut down its TV distribution operations in the U.S., recently axing 12 employees, including Vanessa Shapiro, president of worldwide [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari BTS

    Cinema Audio Society Nominees Represent Wide Range of Genres

    There’s an exceptional level of craftsmanship among this year’s nominees for the Cinema Audio Society Awards, which recognizes outstanding accomplishments in sound mixing, a collaborative discipline that requires sound editors, re-recording mixers, Foley and ADR artistry to work together to create a harmonious finished product. The categories considered are: live action, animated and documentary features, [...]

  • My Name is Baghdad

    Reel Suspects Acquires Berlinale Generation Title 'My Name is Baghdad' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Reel Suspects has acquired international sales rights to Caru Alves de Souza’s coming-of-age tale “My Name is Baghdad,” which will world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in the Generation 14 section. The film was produced by Manjericão Filmes and Tangerina Entretenimento. It follows a 17-year-old female skater named Baghdad who lives in a working-class [...]

  • My Salinger Year

    Berlin Film Festival to Open With Sigourney Weaver, Margaret Qualley Starrer 'My Salinger Year'

    The 70th edition of the Berlinale will open with Philippe Falardeau’s anticipated “My Salinger Year,” headlined by a powerful female duo, Sigourney Weaver and Margaret Qualley. Set in New York’s literary world in the 90’s, the coming-of-age story is based on Joanna Rakoff’s international bestseller and follows Joanna (Qualley), who leaves graduate school to pursue [...]

  • Bad Hair

    'Bad Hair': Film Review

    The year is 1989 and New Jack Swing is about to push black culture from the margins to the mainstream. The question for the black employees of Culture, the music TV station at the center of writer-director Justin Simien’s delightfully macabre horror-dramedy “Bad Hair,” is what image do they — and their white executive Grant [...]

  • Bad Hair

    Justin Simien's 'Bad Hair' is a Tribute to Exploited Black Women Everywhere, Director Says

    Deeply personal but indulgently campy, Justin Simien’s Sundance opener “Bad Hair” is a genre-blending horror show that the director said serves as a tribute to the struggles of black women. The mind behind  “Dear White People” staged the world premiere for the project at Park City’s Ray Theater on Thursday night, before a cast that [...]

  • Taylor Swift: Miss Americana

    'Taylor Swift: Miss Americana': Film Review

    Fly-on-the-wall portraits of pop-music stars used to be dominated by, you know, pop music. The life and personality and woe-is-me-I’m-caught-in-the-media-fishbowl spectacle of the star herself was part of the equation, yet all that stuff had a way of dancing around the edges. Now, though, it’s front and center. In “Taylor Swift: Miss Americana,” we catch [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content