2023 USC Scripter Awards Nominees: ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ ‘Pinocchio’

“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” “Living,” “She Said,” “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Women Talking are among the film nominees for this year’s USC Libraries Scripter Awards. In addition, television episodes of “The Crown,” “Fleishman Is in Trouble,” “Slow Horses,” “Tokyo Vice” and “Under the Banner of Heaven” were also recognized.

A strong bellwether for the Oscars’ best adapted screenplay category, previous Scripter winners that have matched the Academy in the last decade include “Argo” (2012), “12 Years a Slave” (2013), “The Imitation Game” (2014), “The Big Short” (2015), “Moonlight” (2016), “Call Me by Your Name” (2017) and “Nomadland” (2020). Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” (2019) is the only Scripter-eligible film to win the Academy Award without being nominated by the organization.

The inclusion of “Pinocchio” is particularly noteworthy since it’s been picking up awards steam over the last few weeks. It’s a dark horse for one of the five coveted adapted screenplay spots, which could point to a possible surprise nod for best picture (if the voters come to its aid). The popularity of “Top Gun: Maverick” continues to show itself with its addition over other notable scribes.

Among the omissions in the film side are Noah Baumbach’s ambitious adaptation of the Don DeLillo novel “White Noise” from Netflix and Samuel D. Hunter’s self-adaptation of his play “The Whale” from A24.

Noteworthy: Rian Johnson’s “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” was not eligible for the Scripter because it’s based on characters from the first “Knives Out” (2019) movie and not a literary work. The first “Top Gun” movie was based on a magazine article, therefore, it is eligible with the organization.

In television, FX led the field with two noms for “Fleishman Is in Trouble” with Claire Danes and “Under the Banner of Heaven” with Andrew Garfield. The former will compete for next year’s Emmy Awards, considerably boosting its prospects heading into TV awards season.

The 2023 Scripter selection committee chose from the finalists from a field of 101 films and 67 television adaptations. Among the notable names on the selection committee are film critics Leonard Maltin, IndieWire’s Anne Thompson and screenwriters Eric Roth and Erin Cressida Wilson.

The USC Libraries will announce the winning authors and screenwriters at a black-tie ceremony on Saturday, Mar. 4, 2023, in the historic Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library at the University of Southern California.

The full list of nominees is below.

Film Nominees

  • “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” (Netflix) — Guillermo del Toro, Patrick McHale, and Matthew Robbins (based on the fairy tale “The Adventures of Pinocchio” by Carlo Collodi)
  • “Living” (Sony Pictures Classics) — Kazuo Ishiguro (based on the novella “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” by Leo Tolstoy)
  • “She Said” (Universal Pictures) — Rebecca Lenkiewicz (based on the nonfiction book, “She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement” by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey)
  • “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount Pictures) — Peter Craig, Ehren Kruger, Justin Marks, Christopher McQuarrie, and Eric Warren (based on characters from the 1983 “California” magazine article “Top Guns” by Ehud Yonay)
  • “Women Talking” (MGM/United Artists Releasing) — Sarah Polley, Miriam Toews (based on the novel “Women Talking” by Miriam Toews)

TV Nominees

  • Peter Morgan, for the episode “Couple 31” from “The Crown” (Netflix) — based on his stage play “The Audience”
  • Taffy Brodesser-Akner for the episode “The Liver” from “Fleishman Is in Trouble” (FX) — based on her book of the same name
  • Will Smith for the episode “Failure’s Contagious” from “Slow Horses” (Apple TV+) — based on the novel by Mick Herron
  • J. T. Rogers for the episode “Yoshino” from “Tokyo Vice” (HBO Max) — based on the memoir “Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan” by Jake Adelstein
  • Dustin Lance Black for the episode “When God Was Love” from “Under the Banner of Heaven” (FX) — based on the nonfiction work by Jon Krakauer

See the latest film predictions, in all 23 categories, in one place on Variety’s Oscars Collective.

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