Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay

The Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay is one of the Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars. They are overwhelmingly considered by both entertainment industry insiders as well as the movie-going public to be the most prestigious film awards in the United States. The Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay is awarded each year to the writer of a screenplay adapted from another source. The most frequently adapted media are novels, but other adapted narrative formats include plays, musicals, and other theatrical works; short stories; nonfiction books; TV series; and even other films, for example, foreign language films. All sequels are automatically considered adaptations by this standard, since the sequel must be based on the story set forth in the original film.
See also: the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, a similar award for screenplays that are not adaptations. As of the 2020 ceremony, Taika Waititi is the most recent winner in this category for Jojo Rabbit.


The first person to win twice in this category was Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who won the award in two consecutive years, 1949 and 1950. Others to win twice in this category include: George Seaton, Robert Bolt, Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo, Alvin Sargent, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Michael Wilson and Alexander Payne. Payne won both awards as part of a writing team, with Jim Taylor for Sideways and Jim Rash and Nat Faxon for The Descendants. Michael Wilson was blacklisted at the time of his second Oscar, so the award was given to a front. However, the Academy officially recognized him as the winner several years later.
Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, Paddy Chayefsky, Francis Ford Coppola, Horton Foote, William Goldman, Robert Benton, Bo Goldman, and the Coen brothers have won Oscars for both original and adapted screenplays.
Frances Marion was the first woman to win in the category.
Pierre Collings and Sheridan Gibney were the first to win for adapting their own work.
Philip G. Epstein and Julius J. Epstein are the first siblings to win in this category. James Goldman and William Goldman are the first siblings to win for separate films. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen are the third winning siblings.
Mario Puzo is the one of two writers whose work has been adapted and resulted in two wins. Puzo's novel The Godfather resulted in wins in 1972 and 1974 for himself and Francis Ford Coppola. The other is E. M. Forster, whose novels A Room with a View and Howards End resulted in wins for Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.
Larry McMurtry is the only person who has won for adapting someone else's work, and whose own work has been adapted by someone else resulting in a win.
Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh are the only married couple to win.
Geoffrey S. Fletcher and John Ridley are the only African-Americans to win solo in this category; Fletcher is also the first African-American to win in any writing category. Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney are the first African-American writing duo to win; Spike Lee and Kevin Willmott are the second, although their co-writers, David Rabinowitz and Charlie Wachtel, are both white.
James Ivory is the oldest person to receive the award at age 89. Charlie Wachtel is the youngest at age 32.
Taika Waititi is the first person of Māori descent to receive the award.
Emma Thompson is the only winner who has also won for acting. Winners Billy Bob Thornton and John Huston have been nominated for acting but not won.
Charles Schnee, Billy Bob Thornton, and Bill Condon are the only winners whose films were not nominated for Best Picture.

Notable nominees

Noted novelists and playwrights nominated in this category include: George Bernard Shaw, Graham Greene, Tennessee Williams, Vladimir Nabokov, James Hilton, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Lillian Hellman, Irwin Shaw, James Agee, Norman Corwin, S. J. Perelman, Terence Rattigan, John Osborne, Robert Bolt, Harold Pinter, David Mamet, Larry McMurtry, Arthur Miller, John Irving, David Hare, Tony Kushner, and August Wilson.
Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green, writers of Logan, are the first to be nominated for a film based on superhero comic books.

Winners and nominees

Winners are listed first in colored row, followed by the other nominees.











Writers with multiple awards

;2 Awards
The following writers have received three or more nominations:
;7 Nominations
;6 Nominations
;5 Nominations
;4 Nominations
;3 Nominations