As every year, the Academy promises a grand recognition of the year's most outstanding film achievements, but the path to these prestigious awards is not always easy, especially when it comes to classifying screenplays. A case that illustrates this complexity is Barbiewhose screenplay was co-written by director Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, ended up in the adapted screenplay category at the 2024 Oscars and not in the original screenplay category. Below we explain what this provision means Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
Why the script? Barbie was included in the “Best Adapted and Non-Original Screenplay” category?
Barbie tells the story of the iconic stereotypical doll played by Margot Robbie, who is experiencing an identity crisis in Barbie Land. Our protagonist therefore takes a journey into the real world to answer some of the worries that plague her. Although the work is part of Mattel's flagship product, it is not technically based on any of the brand's literary or audiovisual projects. Therefore, industry representatives, specialists and film fans discussed his suitability.
Qualifying screenplays for major film awards is often a complex process. This often leads to disagreements between industry associations and the awarding bodies. AND Barbie In fact, it received mixed reviews from the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Hollywood Academy.
Warner Bros. Pictures postulates To Barbie to compete in the “Best Original Screenplay” category at the 2024 Oscars. Eventually, this work will be recognized as an original work by the Writers Guild (in fact, it will compete in the WGA Awards this way).
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Despite it, The Academy's internal rules clearly distinguish between original and adapted screenplays. Such stories based on pre-existing materials or intellectual property are considered adaptations, regardless of the unpublished treatment of the material.. For a screenplay to be considered original, it must come solely from the imagination of the author(s). In the case of BarbieMattel toys are considered pre-existing material.
It's worth noting that the committee within the Academy's Screenplay Division that makes the decision is not new to deviating from the WGA ratings. Notable cases of screenplays being included in the adapted screenplay category in recent years include: Moonlight (2016) – based on an unpublished play – or The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) – Anthology in which two of six short films are based on existing material. The Academy even considers adapted screenplays directly as sequels to projects that were originally original, such as the cases of Toy Story 3 (2010), Top Gun: Maverick (2022) or Before the sunset (2004) and Before midnight (2013).
In addition to his literary achievements Barbie will compete for seven other Oscars: Best Picture, Supporting Actress (America Ferrera), Supporting Actor (Ryan Gosling), Production Design, Costume Design and a pair for Original Song with “I'm just Ken” And “What was I made for?“. He will compete against each other as part of the adapted script quintet American fiction, Oppenheimer, poor creatures And Area of interest.
Barbie is available on HBO Max.