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HAMMOND Goes Inside The WGA Awards

Pete Hammond

In accepting the Best Original Screenplay award for Inception at Saturday night’s Writers Guild Awards, winner Christopher Nolan addressed the elephant in the room by noting that not all the best screenplays were eligible for the prize. The Writers Guild, as they do every year, disqualified scripts not made under Guild agreements and this year that list included four screenplays that are nominated for Oscars including The King’s Speech, Toy Story 3, Another Year, and Winter’s Bone. Nolan noted that 9 years ago, even though he was a WGA member, he was told his script (later Oscar nominated) Memento would not be eligible for a WGA award. Nolan alluded to those “screenplays not considered but I am not going to name them for fear of boosting their chances at other shows”. He said that, hopefully, next year all scripts will be eligible “without qualification”.

I talked to WGA President John Wells at the pre-show reception about this thorny issue and he said that The Weinstein Company did in fact want to try and make King’s Speech eligible retroactively but that the producers of the film balked at the costs. (Wells’ recent film The Company Men was distributed by TWC.) He said the practice of disqualifying screenplays that don’t meet Guild production standards is one that comes up time and again at WGA Board meetings but the guild feels it’s a good way of convincing some productions to sign on to the … Read More »

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EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Sorkin’s Full Screenplay For ‘The Social Network’ – Plus Q&A

Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: With Sony Pictures’ permission, Deadline Hollywood presents Aaron Sorkin’s full screenplay here for The Social Network. Also, my interview with this frontrunner for Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar follows:

Aaron Sorkin set out to be an actor, but those early career plans were trumped when he began writing for the stage. In 1989, at the age of 28, he was named Outstanding American Playwright by the Outer Critics Circle for A Few Good Men. Just three years later, he wrote the screenplay for the film version which was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. His subsequent success in film has included scripts for Malice (1993), The American President (1995), Charlie Wilson’s War (2007) and the upcoming Moneyball. As an Emmy-winning television writer and producer, he was behind critically acclaimed Sports Night, long-running The West Wing, and the short-lived Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip. But he has never been nominated for an Academy Award:

DEADLINE: This script about the behind-the-scenes of the founding of Facebook is technically an adaptation but not based on the actual book?
AARON SORKIN: Initially, I was given a 14-page book proposal that Ben Mezrich wrote for his publisher about these guys and the friction between them. The publisher wanted to get simultaneous film deals and took it to Hollywood and that’s how it ended up in my hands. And I said yes on page three. That’s the fastest I’ve ever said yes to anything. And it … Read More »

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Aaron Sorkin On ‘Social Network’ Women

Here’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse into why Hollywood portrays women the way it does on the big screen. The backstory is that Emmy-winning writer-producer-director Kev Levine’s blog posted a comment complaining about The Social Network‘s “lack of a decent portrayal of women. With the exception of 1 or 2 of them (Rashida Jones included), they were basically sex objects/stupid groupies… kinda makes me think that Aaron Sorkin (though I love his writing) failed the women in this script. Kind of a shame considering he’s written great women characters like C.J. Cregg!” So the pic’s screenwriter Aaron Sorkin responded:

“Believe me, I get it. It’s not hard to understand how bright women could be appalled by what they saw in the movie but you have to understand that that was the very specific world I was writing about. Women are both prizes an equal. Mark’s blogging that we hear in voiceover as he drinks, hacks, creates Facemash and dreams of the kind of party he’s sure he’s missing, came directly from Mark’s blog. With the exception of doing some cuts and tightening (and I can promise you that nothing that I cut would have changed your perception of the people or the trajectory of the story by even an inch) I used Mark’s blog verbatim. Mark said, “Erica Albright’s a bitch” (Erica isn’t her real name — I changed three names

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