The author-screenwriter teams behind Children of Men, The Devil Wears Prada, The Illusionist, The Last King of Scotland, and Notes on a Scandal have been named finalists for the 19th USC Libraries Scripter Award. Scripter is awarded annually by the University of Southern California Libraries to honor writers for the best achievement in adaptation among English-language films released during the previous year and based on a book, novella, or short story.
Scripter is unique among entertainment and literary awards in that it recognizes both the authors and the screenwriters of a produced book-to-film adaptation and has maintained the tradition for nearly two decades.
This year's finalists, in alphabetical order by film title, are: screenwriters Alfonso Cuaron & Timothy J. Sexton and David Arata and Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby for Children of Men, based on the book by P.D. James; screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna and author Lauren Weisberger for The Devil Wears Prada; screenwriter Neil Berger for The Illusionist, based on the story "Eisenheim the Illusionist" by Steven Millhauser; screenwriters Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock for The Last King of Scotland, based on the book by Giles Foden; and screenwriter Patrick Marber and author Zoe Heller for Notes on a Scandal. The selection committee voted to determine these five finalists from among the year's 45 eligible films.
The studios distributing the Scripter finalist films and the publishing houses that published the books on which they're based are: Universal Pictures for Children of Men, published by Warner Vision; 20th Century Fox for The Devil Wears Prada, published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House; Yari Film Group for The Illusionist, published by Dalkey Archive Press; Fox Searchlight Pictures for The Last King of Scotland, published by Vintage International; and Fox Searchlight Pictures for Notes on a Scandal, published by Penguin Books.
Screenwriter, journalist, novelist, and educator Howard A. Rodman chairs the Scripter 19 selection committee. Among other achievements, Rodman wrote the screenplay for the upcoming 2007 film "Savage Grace," starring Julianne Moore, based on the book by Steven M.L. Aronson and Natalie Robins.
The selection committee comprises Writers Guild of America members, Academy Award®-winning and -nominated screenwriters, authors, film industry executives, USC faculty, the dean of the USC Libraries, and selected members of the Friends of the USC Libraries. Rodman announced the finalists Jan. 5 on behalf of the Friends, who sponsor the award.
The annual black-tie gala honoring the winning collaboration will be held on Sunday, Feb. 18, in USC's historic Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library. Henry Winkler will make his third appearance as emcee, with Hal Kanter returning as grand emcee for the seventh time.
The selection committee will announce the winners of the 19th-annual USC Libraries Scripter Award on Jan. 12.