2016 Writers Guild Awards Nominees Include 'Trainwreck' & 'Trumbo'

January 6, 2016
Source: WGA


The next set of 2016 awards nominees have been revealed. The WGA Awards nominations were unveiled today, featuring a very diverse set of films from last year. Included among the nominees: Adam McKay's Wall Street underdog The Big Short, along with Ridley Scott's The Martian, and Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs, plus John McNamara's script for Trumbo in the adapted category. Plus on the original side they nominated the Coen Brothers' Bridge of Spies, along with Sicario, Spotlight, and surprisingly, Amy Schumer's Trainwreck. Some very interesting picks this time. Check out the list of film nominees below.

Original Screenplay:
Bridge of Spies - Written by Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
Sicario - Written by Taylor Sheridan
Spotlight - Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy
Straight Outta Compton - Screenplay by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savidge & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff
Trainwreck - Written by Amy Schumer

Adapted Screenplay:
The Big Short - Screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay; Based on the Book by Michael Lewis
Carol - Screenplay by Phyllis Nagy; Based on the Novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
The Martian - Screenplay by Drew Goddard; Based on the Novel by Andy Weir
Steve Jobs - Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin; Based on the Book by Walter Isaacson
Trumbo - Written by John McNamara; Based on the Biography by Bruce Cook

Documentary Screenplay:
Being Canadian - Written by Robert Cohen
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief - Written by Alex Gibney
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck - Written by Brett Morgen
Prophet’s Prey - Written by Amy J. Berg

Feature films eligible for a Writers Guild Award were exhibited theatrically for at least one week in LA during 2015 and were written under the WGA’s Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) or under a bona fide collective bargaining agreement of the Writers Guild of Canada, Writers Guild of Great Britain, Irish Playwrights & Screenwriters Guild, or the New Zealand Writers Guild. Documentaries eligible for a Writers Guild Award featured an onscreen writing credit and were exhibited theatrically in LA or New York for one week during 2015. Theatrical screenplays/documentaries produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA or an affiliate Guild must have been submitted for WGA awards consideration. See all the WGA nominees here.

There are a few big surprises in this year's nominations, including Trumbo and Trainwreck, but I trust the WGA and don't expect them to choose something that isn't worthy of recognition. From here it should be an exciting awards season playing out over the next few months as anything can end up winning. The winners of the WGA Awards will be announced February 13th, so come back and see who won. Your thoughts?

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Reader Feedback - 6 Comments


I am very interested in TRUMBO. I have heard some polar opposite things about it.

DAVIDPD on Jan 6, 2016


My father, Juan Duval, knew the great Spanish musicians, composers, writers and bullfighters of his time. In 1948, he (as toreador) “headed” the bull fighting scenes in Charles Vidor’s “Loves of Carmel”, no bull fighting was actually shown in the movie for fear that American public would not like it. In 1952, Juan Duval registered his screenplays “Gypsy Shadows” and “Corrida de Toros” which the 1956 film, “The Brave One” was based with the Radio Writers Guild and the Screen Writers Guild and gave his screenplay to Eugene Gould, a shareholder in King Bros Production film company, who said to Los Angeles Daily Mirror columnist and TV show host of “Confidential Files”, Paul Coates, “I met Mr. Duval through a friend of mine and I read his script. I liked it and volunteered to submit it to Mr. King”. Paul Coates stated in a paragraph titled “Similarities in Plot”, that, “Each had remarkable similarities in plot to the award-winning motion picture, which dealt with the love of a Mexican boy for a fighting bull”. In the following paragraph titled, “Didn’t Like It”, Coates said Gould, “added that he picked up the script a week later, Maurice King said that he personally had read it and that he did not care for the story.” “Some time later”, Gould continued, “I ran into Frank King and asked what their next production would be. He said, “The Boy and The Bull” and started to tell me the Story”. “I stopped him after he related part of it and said, “That sounds like the story I gave Morry”. He said what are you talking about?” Then he turned around and walked away.” Paul Coates said, “I asked Gould if he was still connected with King Productions”. “I have a few thousand shares in the company, he answered.” Coates then said of Gould, “He paused, then added: “but if ‘The Brave One’ was from Juan Duval’s original story, I see no reason why I should hide anything to keep him from getting credit.” After seeing Juan Duval’s window on the Paul Coates TV show, western movie star Dale Robinson called Paul Coates to say that Juan Duval gave him screenplay to give to producers.

John Duval on Jan 7, 2016


Trumbo the film: I do not judge the fine actors nor their performance in this make-believe film, but I take exception that there is value or a substantive message learned from untold truth, innuendo and the manipulation of facts by the producers and director of this film. Aside from the political debate, the movie Trumbo misrepresents the avarice conniving men that Trumbo and the King Bros were. Trumbo and the King Bros were all about the money and getting attention to that end. Trumbo was not a hero, he was a grandstander who mislead and toyed with the media about many things and the most important among them, to me, was his plagiarism of my father’s work. Trumbo lied about being the original author of the screenplay that the 1956 film, “The Brave One” was based. My father, Juan Duval, was the author of the original screenplay which the film “The Brave One” was based and awarded the Oscar for “Best Original Story”. My father died before film production and the King Bros and Trumbo unashamedly took advantage of it. Trumbo was a prodigious writer and during the Blacklist period he wrote and rewrote scripts for less money for low-life producers like the King Bros and anyone else who paid him under the table. Frank King’s nephew by marriage, Robert Rich, was the fourth person listed as the author of “the Brave One” (after the King Bros removed the title page of the original script) and was an afterthought and not initially intended to be a front for Trumbo. Per the FBI report, Rich was an office errand boy and bag man who picked up scripts and delivered cash to Trumbo. Roman Holiday may be Trumbo’s original story for all I know (and I love the film), but Trumbo was not in Italy during the shooting where much of the script was re-written by Director William Wyler and screenwriter Ian McLellan Hunter. They wrote script on set day to day and the nights before shooting the film, as was Wyler’s method of film making. After Hunter’s death, his son would not return the Oscar (and rightly so) when asked by the Academy so the Academy could then issue the Oscar to Trumbo decades later. In my opinion, the success of the film was due to Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn’s splendid performance of romance against the background of post WWII Italy. Proof that Trumbo plagiarized my father’s original screenplay is revealed in Trumbo’s book of letters, “Additional Dialogue”, page 270/271 wherein he explains to the King Bros that he, “ruthlessly cut all extraneous material and scenes, and kept rigidly the simple story of the boy and the bull”. Trumbo cut 50 pages from the original screenplay. No matter, it was my father’s original story and not Trumbo’s, which was the category the Oscar was awarded. The Academy should issue a posthumous Oscar to my father, as they did for Trumbo for Roman Holiday. If you read the screenplay marked #1 and the redacted letters in Trumbo’s book, “Additional Dialogue, Letters of Dalton Trumbo, 1942-1962” and compare them to the rewritten scripts and un-redacted letters archived at the University of Wisconsin Library, it’s obvious that Trumbo didn’t write the original screenplay, otherwise, why would he criticize and complain to the King Bros in so many letters about the original screenplay. “The Brave One” script marked “#1” with 170 pages is archived in the University of Wisconsin Library where Trumbo donated all his work. The “#1” script’s Title page was removed and no author was mentioned. The “first version” (133 pages) and “second version” (119 pages) of the scripts listed “Screenplay by: Arthur J. Henley”. The last two scripts listed “Screenplay by Merrill G. White and Harry S Franklin on the early movie posters and “Original Story by Robert L. Rich” was added to scripts later. When the King Bros listed their nephew Robert Rich as author they had no idea that “The Brave One” would be nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Story. At first, Frank King said that there was no such person as Robert Rich and later he said that they bought a 6-page script from a Robert Rich who was away in Germany or Spain. Robert Rich (the nephew) did not attend the Oscar awards because he turned informant for the FBI who were watching Trumbo and Rich didn’t want to be publicly humiliated when the truth came out. And Trumbo used the excuse for not being able to produce the original screenplay for The Brave One on his residence being burgled while intimating that it was the FBI who tossed his residence (FBI File Number: 100-1338754; Serial: 1118; Part: 13 of 15). The FBI did in fact toss his residence but had no interest in scripts. White and Franklin were editors and acting as fronts for Trumbo before and after “The Brave One” movie. The King Bros did not initially intend that their nephew Robert Rich be a front for Trumbo as White and Franklin were first listed as the screenwriters on the movie posters of The Brave One. It was only after the media played up the no-show at the Oscars that the King Bros and Trumbo saw an opportunity to play the media and sell tickets (per Trumbo’s letters to the King Bros). Juan Duval, poet, dancer, choreographer, composer and director of stage and film was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1897. He matriculated from the Monastery at Monserrat and moved to Paris in 1913 where he studied with his uncle M Duval. Juan Duval was renowned as a Classical Spanish and Apache dancer and performed in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Spain. Juan was fluent in Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and English. In 1915, Juan Duval was conscripted into the French Army and fought in Tunis and Verdun, where he suffered head wounds and was partially gassed. He came to the US in 1918 and joined the US Army and was then stationed with the 50th Infantry in occupied Germany for two years before immigrating to the US where he directed live theater and taught dancing and acting at his Studio of Spanish Dancing on Hollywood Blvd across from the Warner Bros Theatre. Juan produced Cave of Sorrow (Play); Lila (Musical Comedy); Spanish Love (Drama); Café Madrid; Spanish Revue; Night In Paris (Drama) and choreographed “One Mad Kiss” (musical) and at least one sword fighting scene with Rudolf Valentino. He directed movies in Mexico and Cuba including the 1935 highest grossing Spanish speaking film, “El Diablo Del Mar” starring Movita (Marlon Brando’s second wife). Mizi Trumbo refused to talk to me about The Brave One original screenplay. Before former Director of the Academy of Arts and Sciences Bruce Davis retired, he told me that because of the documentation that I provided him, he was inclined to believe that my father wrote the original screenplay which the movie, “The Brave One” was based. The Academy gave Trumbo an Oscar for “The Brave One” 20 years after the Oscars and posthumously gave him another Oscar for the Roman Holiday in 2011. The Academy of Arts and Sciences should recognize my father’s original story and posthumously awarded him the Oscar for “Best Original Story” for “The Brave One”.

John Duval on Jan 7, 2016


I was gonna write a dissertation too, but I realized that nobody would read it and I'd just come across as a lunatic

TheOct8pus on Jan 7, 2016


Thank you.

capitandelespacio on Jan 7, 2016


Umm Trainwreck? Good on her for including the father subplot effectively but geez that movie was not good and I definitely blame it partially on the writing.

OfficialJab on Jan 7, 2016

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