“No Country for Old Men” Writers Take USC Libraries Scripter, New Prize Honors Steven Zaillian
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy and Oscar-winning screenwriters Ethan and Joel Coen have won the 20th-annual USC Libraries Scripter Award for “No Country for Old Men.”
“‘No Country for Old Men’ is an accomplished work of filmmaking from the Coen brothers, who have adapted Cormac McCarthy’s book with enormous skill and feeling for the dark places in our souls.”
Scripter recognizes the writers’ contribution to the critically-lauded “No Country for Old Men” as the year’s greatest achievement in cinematic adaptation. The University of Southern California Libraries announced the winners today on behalf of the selection committee and the Friends of the USC Libraries, who sponsor the award. “No Country for Old Men” Wins USC Libraries Scripter Award
The Scripter selection committee, led by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal, chose “No Country for Old Men” from an unprecedented field of nearly 50 eligible films adapted from novels, short stories or novellas. Said Gyllenhaal of the winning film and writers, “‘No Country for Old Men’ is an accomplished work of filmmaking from the Coen brothers, who have adapted Cormac McCarthy’s book with enormous skill and feeling for the dark places in our souls.”
“Atonement,” “Into the Wild,” “There Will Be Blood” and “Zodiac” rounded out this year’s group of five Scripter finalists.
“No Country for Old Men” stars Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem and Tommy Lee Jones. The film has been nominated for four Golden Globes; has been named film of the year by the Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Phoenix, and Washington D.C. critics associations and the National Board of Review; and has been compared to the films of Anthony Mann and Sam Peckinpah.
“No Country for Old Men” author Cormac McCarthy’s career spans more than four decades and includes such books as “The Orchard Keeper” (1965), “Child of God” (1974) and “Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West” (1985). McCarthy was a Scripter finalist in 2001 when his 1992 book “All the Pretty Horses” was adapted for the silver screen. His novel “The Road” earned a 2007 Pulitzer.
The Coen brothers’ screenwriting credits include “Blood Simple” (1984), “Raising Arizona” (1987), “Miller’s Crossing” (1990), “The Hudsucker Proxy” (1994) and “Intolerable Cruelty” (2003). Their 1996 collaboration “Fargo” won the Oscar for best original screenplay. Other Academy Award nominations came for their adapted screenplay for “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (2000) and for editing and directing “Fargo.” They also directed “No Country for Old Men.”
Vintage Books, a division of Random House, publishes “No Country for Old Men.” Miramax Films distributes the film in the United States.
Scripter 2008 marks the award’s platinum anniversary. To celebrate this 20-year milestone, the USC Libraries will honor director, producer, and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian with the inaugural Scripter Literary Achievement Award. The Friends of the USC Libraries created this new prize to recognize writers who have made significant and sustained contributions to the art of adaptation.
USC Trustee, Scripter co-founder and president of the Friends of the USC Libraries Glenn A. Sonnenberg described Zaillian as the ideal first recipient, noting the scribe’s Academy Award-recognized screenplays for “Awakenings” (1990), “Schindler’s List” (1993) and “Gangs of New York” (2002). Zaillian also is a three-time Scripter winner, receiving honors for “Schindler’s List,” “Awakenings,” and “A Civil Action” (1998).
“As our only three-time Scripter winner, Steven embodies what the Scripter is all about — outstanding storytelling,” Sonnenberg said. “His body of work represents the best in adapted screenwriting.”
Zaillian’s other credits include the screenplays for “American Gangster” (2007), “The Interpreter” (2005), “Searching for Bobby Fischer” (1993) and “The Falcon and the Snowman” (1985).
Tony Award-winning actor Jason Alexander will serve as master of ceremonies for the Feb. 2 Scripter gala on the University of Southern California campus. Dean of the USC Libraries Catherine Quinlan will host the annual black-tie event in USC’s historic Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library.