(L to R) Jake Ryan as "Woodrow", Jason Schwartzman as "Augie Steenbeck" and Tom Hanks as "Stanley Zak" in writer/director Wes Anderson's ASTEROID CITY, a Focus Features release. Credit: Courtesy of Pop. 87 Productions/Focus Features
ManOfTheCenturyMovie Awards Oscars 2024: best predictions for original screenplay

Oscars 2024: best predictions for original screenplay

(L to R) Jake Ryan as "Woodrow", Jason Schwartzman as "Augie Steenbeck" and Tom Hanks as "Stanley Zak" in writer/director Wes Anderson's ASTEROID CITY, a Focus Features release. Credit: Courtesy of Pop. 87 Productions/Focus Features

Voting for nominations will take place January 11-16, 2024, with the official Oscar nominations announced on January 23, 2024. Final voting is February 22-27, 2024. Finally, the telecast of the 96th Academy Awards will be broadcast Sunday, March 10 and live on ABC at 8pm ET / 5pm PT. We update the predictions throughout awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all of our Oscars 2024 picks.

The state of the breed

Half of the past decade’s Best Original Screenplay winners premiered at a festival held during the first six months of the year, so moviegoers are probably more informed than they think when it comes to predicting which of these screenplays year could win the Oscar .

Looking at what played at Sundance, which often sets the tone for what to expect from the year’s arthouse releases, Celine Song’s “Past Lives” was an instant hit that was only bolstered by a successful platform release in summer. And it serves as an example of how well the festival has spotlighted female writer-directors this year, with AV Rockwell winning the Grand Jury Prize for his feature debut ‘A Thousand and One’, Maryam’s comedy-drama Keshavarz’s ‘The Persian Version’ which both won the Audience Award and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, and Chloe Domont’s provocative thriller ‘Fair Play’ was the first major acquisition of Sundance 2023. The films were respectively acquired by A24 , Focus Features, Sony Pictures Classics, and Netflix, all of which earned screenplay Oscar nominations this year, with A24 in particular winning this category for ‘Everything, Everywhere, All at Once.’

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Speaking of the winner of Best Picture directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, its SXSW premiere last year cemented the Texas film festival as an alternative awards launch destination earlier in the year. Ben Affleck’s “Air” hopes to continue that momentum, with the director, himself a Best Original Screenplay winner, producing and backing Alex Convery’s screenplay about the origin of Michael Jordan’s historic deal with Nike, which is set in the Black List of 2021.

In terms of Oscar-favorite auteurs returning in the original screenplay race, the top candidate most audiences have seen so far is Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City,” co-created with regular collaborator Roman Coppola, and considered by many as a return to form for the three-time nominee, last recognized for the screenplay for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” in 2015. The film premiered at Cannes this year alongside other major contenders “Anatomy of a Fall,” which won the Palme d’Or and was written by directors Justine Triet and Arthur Harari; and “May December,” a new Todd Haynes film written by Samy Burch and Alex Mechani.

Some of the known quantities to be released later this year are ‘Rustin’ written by Academy Award winner Dustin Lance Black and Alex Mechanik, ‘Saltburn’ by recent Academy Award winning writer and director Emerald Fennell, ‘Drive-Away Dolls’ written and directed by four-time Academy Award winner Ethan Coen and his wife Tricia Cooke (an ACE Award-nominated editor), and “Maestro” by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Josh Singer and nine-time nominee Bradley Cooper.

However, other potential nominees will appear soon, as the fall festivals announce their film lineups.

The contenders are listed alphabetically below. No actor will be considered a favorite until I have seen the film.

First classified:
Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola (“Asteroid City”)
Alex Convery (“Aria”)
Chloe Domont (“Fair Play”)
AV Rockwell (“Arabian Ones”)
Song by Celine (“Past Lives”)

Dustin Lance Black and Julian Breece (“Rustin”)
Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik (“May December”)
Ethan Coen and Tricia Cooke (“Dolls Run Away”)
Bradley Cooper and Josh Singer (“Master”)
Sean Durkin (“The Iron Claw”)
Emerald Fennell (“Saltburn”)
Arthur Harari and Justine Triet (“Anatomy of a Fall”)
David Hemingson (“The Holdovers”)
Justin Kuritzkes (“Challengers”)
David Scarpa (“Napoleon”)

Shots from distance:
Zach Baylin, Frank E. Flowers and Terence Winter (“Bob Marley: One Love”)
Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, Teresa Hsiao and Adele Lim (“Joy Ride”)
Gareth Edwards and Chris Weitz (“The Creator”)
John Hoberg, Brenda Hsueh, Kat Likkel and Peter Sohn (“Elemental”)
Maryam Keshavarz (“The Persian Version”)
Angus MacLachlan (“A Little Prayer”)
Jon Raymond and Kelly Reichardt (“Showing Up”)
Stefani Robinson (“Chevalier”)
Alice Rohrwacher (“The Chimera”)
Takuma Takasaki and Wim Wenders (“Perfect Days”)

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