‘Selma,’ ‘Theory of Everything’ Ineligible for Writers Guild Awards

“Mr. Turner,” “How to Train Your Dragon” among other films that don’t qualify under WGA rules

Last Updated: December 5, 2014 @ 9:15 AM

“Selma” and “The Theory of Everything” will most likely be strong contenders in the Oscar race for Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay, respectively, but they are out of the running for the Writers Guild Awards.

That’s because the two screenplays are among those deemed ineligible by the WGA, which restricts its awards to films written by its members or written for productions made under the jurisdiction of the Guild’s Minimum Basic Agreement, or the agreement of several affiliated international guilds.

The exclusions were first reported by Kris Tapley at In Contention, who obtained a copy of the WGA ballot available to members this week.

“Selma” was not included among the 60 qualifying original screenplays on the WGA ballot, and neither was “Mr. Turner” from Mike Leigh, who has received five Oscar screenwriting nominations in the past.

Longshots like Justin Simien‘s “Dear White People” and John Michael McDonagh’s “Calvary” were also deemed ineligible.

The 48 eligible adapted screenplays did not include “The Theory of Everything,” and also omitted “A Most Wanted Man” and the animated films “How to Train Your Dragon 2” and “The Boxtrolls.”

Because of guild restrictions, the Writers Guild Awards always draw from a far smaller field than the Academy. Last year, for example, 95 films were eligible for WGA Awards, while 276 competed for Oscars.

Recent Oscar winners that were ineligible for the WGA Awards include “12 Years a Slave,” “Django Unchained” and “The King’s Speech.”

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