Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay

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The Academy Award for Writing 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 also 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 Writing Original Screenplay, a similar award for screenplays that are not adapted from elsewhere.


The first person to win twice in this category is Joseph Mankiewicz, who won the award in two consecutive years, 1950 and 1951. Others to win twice in this category include: George Seaton, Robert Bolt (who also won in two consecutive years), Francis Coppola, Mario Puzo, Alvin Sargent and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

Michael Wilson also won twice, but because he was blacklisted the second award was given to a front. However, the Academy officially recognized him as the winner several years later.[1]

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 were the first siblings to win in this category, for Casablanca. James Goldman and William Goldman are the first pair of siblings to win for separate films. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen are the third pair of siblings to win in this category for No Country for Old Men.

Mario Puzo is the one of two writers whose work has been adapted resulting in two separate wins in this category. Puzo's novel The Godfather resulted in wins in 1972 and 1974. The other writer is E.M. Forster, whose novels A Room with a View and Howards End resulted in two 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 in this category, for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

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