“Boyhood,” “Foxcatcher,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ “Nightcrawler” and “Whiplash” have been nominated for top original screenplay by the Writers Guild of America, while adapted screenplay nominations have gone to “American Sniper,” “Gone Girl,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Imitation Game” and “Wild.”
Winners will be announced Feb. 14 in simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York following voting by 12,000 WGA members.
The nomination for James Gunn and Nicole Perlman’s adapted script for “Guardians of the Galaxy” was the biggest surprise on Wednesday. “Guardians” would be the fourth sci-fi winner at the WGA after “Inception,” “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “E.T. — The Extraterrestrial.”
The original script nominations went according to form, with the added wrinkle that “Whiplash” was recently deemed an adapted screenplay by the Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since a short film came first.
Aside from “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the adapted category offered no surprises. Contenders that fell short included “Inherent Vice,” “Unbroken” and “Into the Woods,” adapted from the stage musical by that book’s same writer, James Lapine.
Graham Moore, who received a nomination for “The Imitation Game,” credited Alan Turing as his inspiration.
“As a writer, there’s no honor more meaningful than the support of my peers,” Moore said. “I’m so grateful to my fellow WGA members for their recognition. And as a person, there’s no honor greater than getting to tell the story of Alan Turing’s amazing life on screen. This was his life; I just got to write about it.”
The nominations emerged from 60 eligible scripts in the original category and 48 in the adapted classification. The WGA excluded a dozen high-profile scripts this year — including the screenplays for “Birdman,” “Selma” and “The Theory of Everything” — due to restrictions on eligibility, which are far more rigorous than those of SAG-AFTRA or the Directors Guild of America.
Most exclusions stem from the requirement that scripts be written by a WGA member and produced under WGA jurisdiction or under a collective bargaining agreement in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the U.K.
Notable excluded scripts that have gone on to win Oscars include John Ridley’s for “12 Years a Slave,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” and David Seidler’s “The King’s Speech.”
But even with exclusions, the WGA winners have a reliable track record for predicting the Oscar screenplay winners. The adapted category winners have matched in 14 of the last 20 years while the original category has matched in 13 of the last 20 years.
Spike Jonze’ original screenplay for “Her” won both the WGA award and the Oscar last year while Billy Ray’s “Captain Phillips” script won the WGA trophy but lost out for the Oscar to “12 Years a Slave.”
Documentary nominations included three of the 15 titles shortlisted for the Oscars: “Finding Vivian Maier,” “The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz” and “Last Days in Vietnam.” The fourth WGA nominee is “Red Army.”
Full list of nominees:
Written by Richard Linklater; IFC Films
Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman; Sony Pictures Classics
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness; Fox Searchlight
Written by Dan Gilroy; Open Road Films
Written by Damien Chazelle; Sony Pictures Classics
Written by Jason Hall; Based on the book by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice; Warner Bros.
Screenplay by Gillian Flynn; Based on her novel; 20th Century Fox
Guardians of the Galaxy
Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman; Based on the Marvel comic by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
The Imitation Game
Written by Graham Moore; Based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges; The Weinstein Company
Screenplay by Nick Hornby; Based on the book by Cheryl Strayed; Fox Searchlight
Finding Vivian Maier
Written by John Maloof & Charlie Siskel; Sundance Selects
The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz
Written by Brian Knappenberger; FilmBuff
Last Days in Vietnam
Written by Mark Bailey & Kevin McAlester; American Experience Films
Written by Gabe Polsky; Sony Pictures Classics