Writers Guild Award Winners Declared Early!

0001a0_2 Okay, well, not officially. You won’t hear the actual words, “And the award goes to…” until Saturday night, February 20 when the WGA kudofest hosted by Seth MacFarlane takes place.

No, we’re talking about the winners as predicted by the hotly anticipated, never-wrong (it’s our first year!), Movie Smackdown poll. Come Sunday morning, of course, we may have to modify our verbiage but until then that’s our hype and we’re rollin’ with it.

We’ve had a poll up on the site since the nominations were announced and we’ve gotten a decent turnout. So, given that we have a lot of screenwriters who read us, we’re prepared to claim “bellweather” status… at least until we can’t. Here’s what our readers had to say with their ballots.

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BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Up in the Air39%
Star Trek24%
Crazy Heart17%
Julie & Julia13%
Precious 7%

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BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

(500) Days of Summer30%
The Hurt Locker24%
A Serious Man18%
Avatar16%
The Hangover12%

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Congratulations to our Smackdown winners. For (500) Days of Summer that’s Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. For Up in the Air, that’s Sheldon Turner and Jason Reitman, based on the novel by Walter Kirn.

Our particular congrats, of course, go to the actual WGA winners Saturday night. In 2008, during the final days of the WGA strike, Jackie and I won a WGA award in the “Original Longform” TV category for our script to the “Pandemic” miniseries. It’s by far the coolest trophy I’ve ever taken home for anything because it’s given by writers to writers, based on the script being read and not the final product of the film. In other words, it’s on the page, not the stage…

It really does start with a blank screen or a blank page. Someone has to fill that in. That someone is a writer. None of this works without them.

Read our Smack:  Up in the Air -vs- It’s Complicated by Sherry Coben

Read our Smack:  (500) Days of Summer -vs- Annie Hall by Jackie Zabel

About Bryce Zabel 196 Articles
Drawing inspiration from career experiences as a CNN correspondent, TV Academy chairman, creator of five produced primetime network TV series, and fast-food frycook, Bryce is the Editor-in-Chief of "Movie Smackdown." While he freely admits to having written the screenplay for the reviewer-savaged "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation," he hopes the fact that he also won the Writers Guild award a couple of years ago will cause you to cut him some slack. That, plus the fact that he has a new StudioCanal produced feature film, “The Last Battle,” shooting this summer in Europe about the end of World War II. He's also a member of the Directors Guild, Screen Actors Guild, and a past enthusiast of the Merry Marvel Marching Society. His new what-if book series, “Breakpoint,” just won the prestigious Sidewise Award for Alternate History, and has so far tackled JFK not being assassinated and The Beatles staying together.

1 Comment on Writers Guild Award Winners Declared Early!


  1. Well, MovieSmackdown fans and readers were wrong but not by much. Here’s the official WGA announcement:
    “The Hurt Locker” and “Up in the Air” have won the top feature screenplay awards from the Writers Guild of America.
    Mark Boal took the original screenplay trophy for Summit’s “Hurt Locker,” topping “500 Days of Summer,” “Avatar,” “The Hangover” and “A Serious Man.”
    “I’m honored and stunned,” Boal told the audience at the Century Plaza in Los Angeles. And he singled out director Kathryn Bigelow for backing “an unpopular story about an unpopular war” in his thank-yous.
    Boal also thanked the U.S. soldiers in Iraq with whom he was embeddded in 2004 to learn about bomb-defusing squads.
    The adapted trophy went to Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner for “Up in the Air” for their adaptation of Walter Kirn’s novel. “Up in the Air,” released by Paramount, topped “Crazy Heart,” “Julie and Julia,” “Precious” and “Star Trek.”
    Turner gave thanks to his fellow members, adding, “We don’t write because we want to — we write because we have to.”
    Reitman singled out his father Ivan Reitman, a producer on the film, for his encouragement. “He told me, ‘You got the goods,’ ” Reitman added.

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