This time, "The Social Network" went in the favorite and emerged the winner.
Aaron Sorkin's screenplay for the David Fincher film, and the Ben Mezrich book that was written at the same time, were the winners at Friday night's USC Scripter Awards, an annual honor that goes to the best film adaptation of a literary work. Sorkin and Mezrich were both on hand to receive the award, which goes both to the screenwriter and the original author.
The other nominees were "The Ghost Writer," "Winter's Bone," "True Grit" and "127 Hours."
Most of the nominees, from "127 Hours" director and co-writer Danny Boyle to Joel and Ethan Coen, "True Grit" novelist Charles Portis and, of course, "Ghost Writer" director-writer Roman Polanski, were not on hand for the ceremony.
Neither was novelist Dennis Lehane, who received the Scripter Literary Achievement Award for a body of work that includes the novels "Mystic River," "Shutter Island" and "Gone, Baby, Gone."
Accepting the award, Mezrich said, "When you get the phone call that Aaron Sorkin is interested in adapting your book, it's a little terrifying — especially when you haven't even finished writing it."
Scripter nominees and winners are chosen by a selection committee consisting of nearly 60 filmmakers, writers, actors, journalists and academics. This year's committee included Michael Chabon, Dave Eggers, Ed Harris, Lawrence Kasdan, Callie Khouri, Peter Sarsgaard, Kenneth Turan and Steven Zaillian.
Previous winners of the award include "Up in the Air," "No Country for Old Men" and "Slumdog Millionaire."
The ceremony was held in the USC Library, and hosted by Nancy Sinatra — who made note of the fact that the awards show was taking place in an academic setting and asked, "Where's the Elton John afterparty? In the chem lab?"