This audience-pleasing category offers a wide swath of pictures, the majority written or co-written by the person who directed the film. It also includes one of the great modern novelists taking a rare stab at adapting a script and a team of writers paying thoughtful homage to a 1980s classic by writing their very own mega-blockbuster sequel.

Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson & Ian Stokell 

This German-language anti-war epic based on the 1929 novel by Erich Maria Remarque boldly displays the chaos and despair felt among World War I soldiers. Director Edward Berger, also one of the film’s writers, said his daughter was instrumental in his decision to adapt it. “She said, ‘I just read it in school, it’s the best book I’ve ever read, I cried five times, you have to make it.’”

Rian Johnson

Johnson earned his first-ever Oscar nod for writing 2019’s Knives Out and joins the party once again by transporting his ensemble murder mystery from a New England estate to a sun-kissed supermansion in Greece. “It felt like you had to talk a little louder, you had to boost it up a few decibels,” Johnson said. “You had to see everything through a bit more of a funhouse mirror, because that’s actually what following the news about these folks felt like.”

Kazuo Ishiguro

British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, a Nobel and Booker Prize winner who only occasionally dabbles in screenwriting, earned his first Oscar nomination for his gorgeously rendered reimagining of Akira Kurosawa’s 1953 masterpiece “Ikiru,” with Bill Nighy as a soft-spoken bureaucrat. “It’s just ridiculously exciting,’ Ishiguro said. “I’ve always been a film freak, from when I was a kid. Movies have always been a passion for me.”

Screenplay by Ehren Kruger and Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie; story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks

A rare sequel breaking into the category, this follow-up to 1986’s “Top Gun” tipped its hat to its original source while expanding its universe to include new, colorful characters without sacrificing the regret-tinged journey of Tom Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. “No task has scared me more, no film has taught me more,” co-writer Christopher McQuarrie said.

Sarah Polley

A past nominee in this category for her 2007 film “Away From Her,” Polley was recognized for another shrewd adaptation of a celebrated female author. This time, it is Polley’s moving rendering of Miriam Toews’ 2018 novel about a group of disenfranchised women who convene in a hayloft to determine whether to remain in their patriarchal colony. “It was a very long script-writing process,” she said. “I’ve never written that many drafts of anything, or even close to it. But it was kind of great.”

Steve’s Perspective

Two popcorn sequels, “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” are going up against a trio of more typical Oscar films — and while it’d be delicious if Kazuo Ishiguro could join George Bernard Shaw and Bob Dylan as winners of the Oscar and the Nobel Prize for Literature, it’s likelier that this race will come down to the scale and drama of “All Quiet on the Western Front” versus the charged intimacy of “Women Talking.”