The Writers Guild of America has nominated “Bridge of Spies,” “Sicario,” “Spotlight,” “Straight Outta Compton” and “Trainwreck” for its original screenplay award and “The Big Short,” “Carol,” “The Martian,” “Steve Jobs” and “Trumbo” for its adapted screenplay award.
Documentary nominations went to “Being Canadian,” “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” and “Prophet’s Prey.”
Winners will be announced at the 68th annual WGA Awards on Feb. 13 at simultaneous ceremonies at the Century Plaza in Los Angeles and the Edison Ballroom in New York City.
The awards are based on voting by the 12,000 WGA members. There were 61 films eligible on the original category and 51 on the adapted side.
The guild excludes scripts not under its jurisdiction or that of an affiliate guild, along with scripts by writers who are not guild members. Ineligible scripts in the original category included “The Hateful Eight,” “Inside Out,” “Son of Saul,” “Suffragette,” “Ex Machina,” “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “99 Homes.” The adapted scripts for “Room,” “The Danish Girl,” “Anomalisa,” “Brooklyn,” “45 Years” and “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” were also not on the ballot.
WGA leaders have insisted that they have no plans to alter the eligibility rules, noting that the awards are intended to honor work by members.
Among the notable eligible films, “Joy” was passed over by WGA voters in the original category, while “The Revenant” did not make the cut in the adapted category.
Wes Anderson’s script for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” won the WGA award last year for original screenplay, while Graham Moore’s script for “The Imitation Game” won for adapted screenplay and then went on to nab the Oscar. “Grand Budapest” was nominated for an Oscar, but lost to “Birdman,” which was ineligible for the WGA award since the four writers were not guild members.
Aaron Sorkin, who was nominated for “Steve Jobs,” won the WGA and Oscar for adapted screenplay in 2011 for “The Social Network.” He also received WGA nominations for “Moneyball” and “The American President” and won a 2001 WGA Award for “The West Wing.”
Tom McCarthy, nominated with Josh Singer for “Spotlight,” has received three other WGA nods for “The Station Agent,” “The Visitor” and “Win Win.”
Alex Gibney, nominated for “Going Clear,” won the WGA and Oscar for the 2007 documentary “Taxi to the Dark Side.” Amy Berg, nominated for “Prophet’s Prey,” won the WGA documentary award in 2006 for “Deliver Us from Evil.”
“Going Clear” is the only one of the four nominated documentarties that’s also on this year’s short list for the Academy Awards.
Even with exclusions, WGA Awards have a reliable track record of predicting the Oscar winners — which have matched in 15 of the last 21 years in adapted and 13 of the last 21 years in original. The writers branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences comprises about 6% of the total number of voting members, or 416 out of 6,856.
Here’s the full list of nominations:
“Bridge of Spies,” Written by Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen; DreamWorks Pictures
“Sicario,” Written by Taylor Sheridan; Lionsgate
“Spotlight,” Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy; Open Road Films
“Straight Outta Compton,” Screenplay by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savidge & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff; Universal Pictures
“Trainwreck,” Written by Amy Schumer; Universal Pictures
“The Big Short,” Screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay; Based on the Book by Michael Lewis; Paramount Pictures
“Carol,” Screenplay by Phyllis Nagy; Based on the Novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith; The Weinstein Company
“The Martian,” Screenplay by Drew Goddard; Based on the Novel by Andy Weir; Twentieth Century Fox
“Steve Jobs,” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin; Based on the Book by Walter Isaacson; Universal Pictures
“Trumbo,” Written by John McNamara; Based on the Biography by Bruce Cook; Bleecker Street Media
“Being Canadian,” Written by Robert Cohen; Candy Factory Films
“Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” Written by Alex Gibney; HBO Documentary Films
“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck,” Written by Brett Morgen; HBO Documentary Films
“Prophet’s Prey,” Written by Amy J. Berg; Showtime Documentary Films