With these Oscar 2023 nominations shortly to be announced one of the curiosities that has arisen is why Barbie has a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination not Best Original Screenplay. It’s had several writers irritated most notably Judd Appatow who went on twitter /X to say “It’s insulting to the writers to say they were working off of existing material…..There was no existing material or story. There was a clear box.” and in fairness he makes a good point especially as the Writers Guild of America has designated “Barbie” an original work, and it will remain in that category for the upcoming WGA Awards.
The film makers, despite campaigning for original screenplay, have found that the Writers Branch executive committee of AMPAS are likely to have moved Barbie to adapted screenplay because Barbie and Ken were pre-existing dolls from Mattel. Each awards body and voting group has its own subset of rules for movies in terms of which screenplay category they can submit or ultimately be nominated. Many films about pre-existing characters — such as previous Oscar nominees “Toy Story 3,” “Borat 2,” “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight” — were ultimately classified as adapted screenplays.
So that is likely to be the reason why Barbie has a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination not Best Original Screenplay.
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