The winners were announced Saturday night at USC’s Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library.
“Little Women” topped “Dark Waters,” “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” and “The Two Popes.” All but environmental drama “Dark Waters” are contending for the Academy Award in the adapted screenplay category.
Gerwig, who also directed, won the Scritper award in conjunction with Louisa May Alcott, author of the iconic 1868 novel about the lives of the four March sisters in a small New England town during the 1860s.
“This is extraordinary. I am very honored. I didn’t attend USC, but I truly love this library,” Gerwig said. “‘Little Women’ is the book of my life. I can’t recall a time when I didn’t know who the March sisters were. Rereading and rereading this book throughout my childhood made me the woman I am today. Because without Louisa I never would have listened to the voice inside of myself that whispered ‘Write.’”
Producer Amy Pascal accepted on behalf of Louisa May Alcott, saying, “Both Greta and I wish that the actual Louisa May Alcott could be here tonight to accept this award to see how legendary her words are and the women she created are.”
“Fleabag,” topped “Fosse/Verdon,” “Killiing Eve,” “Unbelievable” and “Watchmen.” Series star Phoebe Waller-Bridge won the award for the first episode of the comedy-drama, based on her one-woman play of the same name. Waller-Bridge was not in attendance.
The Scripter Award film award has been a strong indicator of Academy sentiment. The Scripter and Oscar winner matched for eight consecutive years, starting with “The Social Network,” “The Descendants,” “Argo,” “12 Years a Slave,” “The Imitation Game,” “The Big Short,” “Moonlight” and “Call Me by Your Name’ until “Leave No Trace” won the Scripter but wasn’t nominated for an Oscar last year.
The Scripter Awards, now in their 32nd year, honor both the year’s best film and television adaptations, along with the works on which they are based.
Chaired by USC professor and former Writers Guild of America West president Howard Rodman, the 2020 Scripter selection committee chose the finalists from a field of 61 movie and 58 TV adaptations. Catherine Quinlan, dean of the USC Libraries, was master of ceremonies.
Susan Orlean, author of “The Library Book” and “The Orchid Thief” — which was adapted into “Adaptation” — was honored with the USC Libraries’ Literary Achievement Award.
The winners are in boldface:
Matthew Carnahan and Mario Correa, based on the New York Times Magazine article “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare” by Nathaniel Rich
Steven Zaillian, based on the nonfiction work I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt
Taika Waititi, based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens
Little Women (WINNER)
Author Louisa May Alcott and screenwriter Greta Gerwig
The Two Popes
Anthony McCarten, based on his play The Pope
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, for the first episode, based on her one-woman play of the same name
Joel Fields and Steven Levenson, for the episode “Nowadays,” based on the biography Fosse by Sam Wasson
Emerald Fennell, for the episode “Nice and Neat,” based on the novel Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings
Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, for the first episode, based on the article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong
Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson for the episode “This Extraordinary Being,” based on the comic book series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons