One of the early contenders for Best Adapted Screenplay is Top Gun: Maverick

Movies of all sizes are in the running for the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay this year.

This article contains preliminary information from IndieWire Best Adapted Screenplay Forecasts for the year 2023 oscars. We regularly update our predictions throughout awards season and re-release previous versions (like this one) so readers can keep track of changes in the Oscar race. For the latest update on the 95th Academy Awards frontrunners, head over to our 2023 Oscar Prediction Hub.

Nomination voting will take place January 12-17, 2023, with official Oscar nominations to be announced on January 24, 2023. Final voting will take place March 2-7, 2023. And finally, the 95th Oscars show will air Sunday, March 12 and air live on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT. We’ll be updating the predictions throughout awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all of our 2023 Oscar picks.

The state of the race

While the biggest contenders for Best Adapted Screenplay lie ahead, there have been films of all kinds that have sparked debate as to which film will win. In January, Sundance premiered Living, the small but great remake of Ikiru starring Bill Nighy and written by accomplished novelist Kazuo Ishiguro. Although it won’t be available to the public until November, Top Gun: Maverick, the summer’s biggest blockbuster, is also making Oscars buzz for screenwriters Peter Craig, Ehren Kruger, Justin Marks, Christopher McQuarrie and Eric Warren Singer.

Ultimately, the fall festivals will have the biggest impact on this category. Two-time Best Original Screenplay nominee Noah Baumbach moves closer to his first Oscar win by bringing Don DeLillo’s “White Noise” to the big screen and bringing his own take on a novel viewed by many as unadaptable. This film opens both the Venice Film Festival and the New York Film Festival, a premiere.

TIFF, meanwhile, will unleash several competitors. From acclaimed Canadian director Sarah Polley, Women Talking adapts Miriam Toews’ 2018 novel about several Mennonite women who meet to discuss their experiences of sexual assault and rape in their community. Sebastián Lelio’s crisis of faith drama The Wonder, starring Florence Pugh and an adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel about an English nurse assigned to watch a fasting girl; Donoghue wrote the screenplay with Alice Birch and Lelio, who won the 2017 Academy Award for Best International Film for A Fantastic Woman. TIFF will also premiere Rian Johnson’s sequel Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, a sequel to his 2019 Best Original Screenplay nominee (sequels fall into the adapted category).

Venice will release two award-winning play adaptations, the first being the father-daughter drama The Whale, starring Brendan Fraser and adapted by Darren Aronofsky from Samuel D. Hunter, who is the sole writer of the feature film. The other theatrical adaptation taking off at Lido is Der Sohn, director Florian Zeller’s follow-up to Der Vater, for which he won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. As with The Father, the new film draws on Zeller’s stage work, with Christopher Hampton again credited as co-writer. NYFF, meanwhile, is premiering “She Said,” which adapts New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s non-fiction book about their coverage of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault history.

Finally, there are some year-end blockbusters that could keep Top Gun: Maverick company. While their predecessors didn’t receive screenplay nominations, the sequels to two of the highest-grossing films of all time, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Avatar: The Way of Water, have each received Adapted Screenplay recognition for how they rekindle passion for their respective franchises following obstacles such as the tragic loss of a lead actor or a hiatus of over ten years between films.

Oscar contenders are listed in alphabetical order. Only movies I’ve seen are considered top-ranked – so expect this list of top-ranked artists to change very soon.

Peter Craig and Matt Reeves (“The Batman”)
Dean Fleischer-Camp, Elisabeth Holm and Nick Paley (“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”)
August Gore and George Miller (“Three Thousand Years of Our Lives”)
Kogonada (“After Yang”)
Ehren Kruger, Christopher McQuarrie and Eric Warren Singer (“Top Gun: Maverick”)

Noah Baumbach (“White Noise”)
Alice Birch and Sebastian Lelio (“The Wonder”)
Joe Robert Cole and Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”)
Guillermo del Toro, Gris Grimly, Patrick Hale and Matthew Robbins (“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”)
Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller (“The Son”)
Samuel D. Hunter (“The Whale”)
Kazuo Ishiguro (“Life”)
Rian Johnson (“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”)
Rebecca Lenkiewicz (“She Said”)
Sarah Polley (“Women Talk”)

Long shots:
Christine Angot and Claire Denis (“Both Sides of the Blade”)
James Cameron and Josh Friedman (“Avatar: The Way of Water”)
Scott Cooper (“The Light Blue Eye”)
Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly and Pete Jones (“The Greatest Beer Run Ever”)
Andreas Dominik (“Blonde”)
Lena Dunham (“Catherine, aka Birdy”)
David Kajganich (“Bones & All”)
David Magee (“A Man Called Otto”)
David Magee (“Lady Chatterley’s Lover”)
Ron Nyswaner (“My Cop”)

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Lindsay Lowe

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