LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The authors and screenwriters of A Dangerous Method; The Descendants; Jane Eyre; Moneyball; and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy have been named finalists for the 24th-annual USC Libraries Scripter Award.
The 2012 finalists, in alphabetical order by film title, are: screenwriter Christopher Hampton for A Dangerous Method, adapted from the nonfiction book A Most Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein by John Kerr and the 2002 stage play The Talking Cure by Hampton; screenwriters Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash for The Descendants, adapted from Kaui Hart Hemmings’ novel (itself an expansion of her first published short story, “The Minor Wars”); screenwriter Moira Buffini for Jane Eyre, adapted from the 1847 book by Charlotte Brontë; screenwriters Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, and Stan Chervin for Moneyball, based on Michael Lewis’ book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game; and screenwriters Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan and author John le Carré for the thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
Established by the Friends of the USC Libraries in 1988, Scripter honors the screenwriter(s) of the year’s most accomplished cinematic adaptation as well as the author(s) of the written work upon which the screenplay is based.
Zaillian and Sorkin are past Scripter recipients, while Payne, Hampton, and le Carré are all former Scripter finalists. Zaillian won in 1991, 1994, and 1999 for his screenwriting work on Awakenings, Schindler’s List, and A Civil Action. In 2008, Zaillian was the inaugural recipient of the Scripter Literary Achievement Award, which recognizes a writer’s sustained contribution to the art of adaptation. Sorkin won the Scripter award in 2011 for his screenplay for The Social Network. Payne has been a Scripter finalist for his work on About Schmidt in 2003 and Sideways in 2005; Hampton for his work on Carrington in 1996 and Atonement in 2008; and le Carré in 2006 for The Constant Gardener.
Other previous Scripter winners include the screenwriters and authors of L.A. Confidential, The English Patient, Fried Green Tomatoes, and 84 Charing Cross Road.
Co-chaired by Golden Globe-winning screenwriter Naomi Foner and USC screenwriting professor and vice president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, the Scripter selection committee chose the five finalists from a field of 109 eligible films, up from the previous record of 73 adaptions set last year.
“Our nominees span centuries, subject, and genre,” Foner said. “What they have in common is excellence, imagination, and freshness of vision. Making the telling of each story new again as it takes the journey from print to film.”
The 32-member selection committee includes film critics Kenneth Turan and Leonard Maltin; Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairman and chief executive officer Tom Rothman; screenwriters Eric Roth, Geoffrey Fletcher, Tom Schulman, Gale Ann Hurd, and Wesley Strick; film producer Gail Mutrux; author Michael Chabon; and USC deans Catherine Quinlan (libraries), Elizabeth Daley (cinematic arts) and Madeline Puzo (theatre).
“This year we cite five beautifully written films, each of which has strong literary origins,” said Rodman. “We honor all of the authors and screenwriters, even as we face the near-impossible task of choosing, from among these five, the Scripter Award recipient.”
The studios distributing the Scripter finalist films and the publishing houses—for those screenplays based on published works—are Sony Pictures Classics for A Dangerous Method, published in 1993 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. (book) and Faber and Faber in 2003 (play).; Fox Searchlight Pictures for The Descendants, published by Random House in 2007; Focus Features for Jane Eyre, originally published in 1847, with a film tie-in edition published by Vintage; Columbia Pictures for Moneyball, published by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. in 2003; and Focus Features for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, with a film tie-in edition published by Penguin USA.
The winning writers and screenwriters will be announced at a black-tie ceremony to be held Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012 in the historic Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library on the campus of the University of Southern California. Academy Award winners Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford return this year as honorary dinner chairs.
Paul Haggis—a 2005 Scripter winner for his screenplay for Million Dollar Baby and the recipient of two Oscars for his film Crash—will be honored with the 2012 USC Scripter Literary Achievement Award.
For more information about the Scripter Award(s)—including information on tickets and sponsorship opportunities—please visit http://scripter.usc.edu.