Harman Patil (Editor)

Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay

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First awarded

United States of America

Category of
Academy Awards

Official website


Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay httpslh3googleusercontentcomefIq8cCxtYAAA

Presented by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

People also search for
Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay

Currently held by
Adam McKay, Charles Randolph

Winners & Nominees
MoonlightBarry Jenkins - Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight, Winner, ArrivalEric Heisserer, Arrival, Nominee, LionLuke Davies, Lion, Nominee, Hidden FiguresTheodore Melfi - Allison Schroeder, Hidden Figures, Nominee, FencesAugust Wilson, Fences, Nominee, The Big ShortAdam McKay - Charles Randolph, The Big Short, Winner, The MartianDrew Goddard, The Martian, Nominee, RoomEmma Donoghue, Room, Nominee, CarolPhyllis Nagy, Carol, Nominee, BrooklynNick Hornby, Brooklyn, Nominee, The Imitation GameGraham Moore, The Imitation Game, Winner, WhiplashDamien Chazelle, Whiplash, Nominee, American SniperJason Hall, American Sniper, Nominee, The Theory of EverythingAnthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything, Nominee, Inherent VicePaul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice, Nominee, 12 Years a SlaveJohn Ridley, 12 Years a Slave, Winner, PhilomenaSteve Coogan - Jeff Pope, Philomena, Nominee, Captain PhillipsBilly Ray, Captain Phillips, Nominee, The Wolf of Wall StreetTerence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street, Nominee, Before MidnightEthan Hawke - Julie Delpy - Richard Linklater, Before Midnight, Nominee, ArgoChris Terrio, Argo, Winner, Silver Linings PlaybookDavid O Russell, Silver Linings Playbook, Nominee, LincolnTony Kushner, Lincoln, Nominee, Life of PiDavid Magee, Life of Pi, Nominee, Beasts of the Southern WildBenh Zeitlin - Lucy Alibar, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Nominee

The Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay is one of the Academy Awards, the most prominent film awards in the United States. It is awarded each year to the writer of a screenplay adapted from another source (usually a novel, play, short story, or TV show but sometimes another film). All sequels are automatically considered adaptations by this standard (since the sequel must be based on the original story).


See also the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, a similar award for screenplays that are not adaptations.


The first person to win twice in this category is Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who won the award in two consecutive years, 1949 and 1950. Others to win twice in this category include: George Seaton, Robert Bolt (who also won in consecutive years), Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo, Alvin Sargent, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Alexander Payne and Michael Wilson. Payne won both awards as part of a writing duo, with Jim Taylor, and writing trio, with Jim Rash and Nat Faxon. Michael Wilson was blacklisted at the time of his second Oscar, so the award was given to a front (novelist Pierre Boulle). However, the Academy officially recognized him as the winner several years later.

Frances Marion was the first woman to win in this category, in 1930.

Pierre Collings and Sheridan Gibney were the first to win for adapting their own work, for The Life of Emile Zola.

Philip G. Epstein and Julius J. Epstein are the first siblings to win in this category, for Casablanca. James Goldman and William Goldman are the first to win for separate films. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen are the third winning siblings, for No Country for Old Men.

Mario Puzo is the one of two writers whose work has been adapted and resulted in two wins. Puzo's novel The Godfather resulted in wins in 1972 and 1974. The other is E. M. Forster, whose novels A Room with a View and Howards End resulted in wins for Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

Larry McMurtry is the only person who has won (for Brokeback Mountain) for adapting someone else's work and whose work has been adapted by someone else resulting in a win, Terms of Endearment.

Emma Thompson is the only winner who has also won for acting. Winners Billy Bob Thornton and John Huston have only received nominations (not wins) in the acting categories.

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh are the only married couple to win, for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Geoffrey S. Fletcher (for Precious), John Ridley (for 12 Years a Slave), and Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney (both for Moonlight) are the only African-Americans to win in this category; Fletcher is also the first African-American to win in any writing category.

Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, Paddy Chayefsky, Francis Ford Coppola, Horton Foote, William Goldman, Bo Goldman and the Coen brothers have won Oscars for both original and adapted screenplays.

Notable nominees

Noted novelists and playwrights nominated in this category include: George Bernard Shaw (who shared an award for an adaptation of his play Pygmalion), Graham Greene, Tennessee Williams, Vladimir Nabokov, James Hilton, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Lillian Hellman, Irwin Shaw, James Agee, Norman Corwin, S. J. Perelman, Terence Rattigan, John Osborne, Robert Bolt, Harold Pinter, David Mamet, Larry McMurtry, Arthur Miller, John Irving, David Hare, Tony Kushner, and August Wilson.

Winners and nominees

Winners are listed first in colored row, followed by the other nominees.


Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Wikipedia