The Oscars races for the two writing categories, Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay, received a major shake-up today.
Deadline reports that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences has ruled "Moonlight" and "Loving" ineligible as original screenplays, which means both movies will now compete as adapted screenplays. The rulings go against the Writers Guild of America, which designated the films as originals. The two organizations sometimes, but rarely, differ in their categorizations.
"Moonlight" was deemed based on an never-produced stage piece by Tarell Alvin McCraney, who received a "story by" credit on the film. Writer/director Barry Jenkins made significant changes in his script, including dividing it into three chapters. As for "Loving," the Academy decided it was based on the 2011 HBO documentary "The Loving Story" about the interracial marriage of Richard and Mildred Loving.
Both movies, but particularly "Moonlight," were major contenders in the originals category, where they were likely to face frontrunners "Manchester By the Sea" and "La La Land."
Now, they'll duke it out for a slot in the adapted category against "Fences," "Hidden Figures," and "Arrival," among others.
The 2017 Oscar nominations will be announced Jan. 24.
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