2021 Precursor Predictions: Writers Guild of America

With so many exclusions at the WGA, their prognosticative capabilities are minimal, but we still look to them for potential trends.


Best Original Screenplay

Being the Ricardos
Don’t Look Up (RU:Peter, RU:Tripp)
The French Dispatch
King Richard (RU:Wesley, RU:Thomas)
Licorice Pizza (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)

Wesley Lovell: Oscar contender Belfast isn’t here, nor is Oscar nominee The Worst Person in the World. Between the three remaining Oscar nominees, I’d say Licorice Pizza has the edge simply due to how well respected Paul Thomas Anderson is as a writer and director. If there’s to be a spoiler, it’s not Adam McKay’s wordy satire Don’t Look Up, but Zach Baylin’s script for King Richard that has the best chance at an upset.
Peter J. Patrick: Licorice Pizza seems to have the edge here with Don’t Look Up as likely as any to pull an upset.
Tripp Burton: Licorice Pizza seems to be the front runner here, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Don’t Look Up is more popular in Hollywood than we are led to believe.
Thomas LaTourette: Two of these nominees, Being the Ricardos and The French Dispatch, are not Oscar nominated which probably knocks them out of the running. King Richard and Don’t Look Up are battling for second place. That leaves Licorice Pizza to win. Its biggest competition at the Oscars, Belfast, was not nominated here, so Licorice Pizza should easily win.

Best Adapted Screenplay

CODA (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)
Dune (RU:Wesley)
Nightmare Alley
tick, tick…BOOM!
West Side Story (RU:Peter, RU:Tripp, RU:Thomas)

Wesley Lovell: This category was hardest hit by exclusions with three Oscar heavy hitters, Drive My Car, The Lost Daughter, and The Power of the Dog all left out. That leaves only CODA and Dune on this list and CODA has to be seen as the frontrunner. If the WGA doesn’t go for CODA, it could be a huge scandal.
Peter J. Patrick: CODA seems most likely but the excellent screenplay for the West Side Story remake could pull off a surprise win.
Tripp Burton: With no The Power of the Dog here, this should be another easy win for CODA.
Thomas LaTourette: With two of its main competitors not nominated, CODA should be the easy winner here.

Documentary Screenplay

Being Cousteau (Peter, Tripp, Thomas, RU:Wesley)
Exposing Muybridge (Wesley, RU:Tripp)
Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres (RU:Peter, RU:Thomas)

Wesley Lovell: A music documentary about the Rolling Stones competing against regular documentaries about environmentalist Jacques Cousteau and photographer Eadweard Muybridge, this is a list absent any Oscar contenders, which makes selections exceptionally difficult. I’m not even going to begin to say I know how this will go, but the Muybridge documentary seems like the most creative and the most reliant on archival information and footage, requiring greater strengths as a researched subject. I’m going with that film with Being Cousteau a runner up because many people grew up looking up to Jacques and his nautical adventures.
Peter J. Patrick: Pure guesswork on my part.
Tripp Burton: I never have any idea here.
Thomas LaTourette: The Cousteau documentary has been the most seen, so I think it will win.

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