With tricky rules about eligibility and three different categories, the Writers Guild of America always manages to honor more screenplays than the Oscars or the Golden Globes-- which usually makes for an interesting batch of nominees. Today they announced their picks for the 2012 films, and with expected Oscar contenders like Lincoln, Life of Pi, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty in the mix, they also made room for some surprises, like Stephen Chbosky's adaptation of his own book The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Rian Johnson's original Looper, and John Gatins' work for Flight.
Making room for some of those films were some heavy awards hitters rendered ineligible by WGA rules, like Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amour and Django Unchained (see here for the full list of those ineligible). But even though an Oscar nomination may not happen for all of these choices, they very much have a shot, and recognition from one's peers-- especially for screenwriters, who often toil for years with no result whatsoever-- has to be an honor no matter what.
Below you can see the full list of nominees for the WGA awards. Winners will be announced during the simultaneous ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles on February 17.
"Flight," Written by John Gatins; Paramount Pictures
"Looper," Written by Rian Johnson; TriStar Pictures
"The Master," Written by Paul Thomas Anderson; The Weinstein Company
"Moonrise Kingdom," Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola; Focus Features
"Zero Dark Thirty," Written by Mark Boal; Columbia Pictures
"Argo," Screenplay by Chris Terrio; Based on a selection from The Master of Disguise by Antonio J. Mendez and the Wired Magazine article “The Great Escape” by Joshuah Bearman; Warner Bros. Pictures
"Life of Pi," Screenplay by David Magee; Based on the novel by Yann Martel; 20th Century Fox
"Lincoln," Screenplay by Tony Kushner; Based in part on the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin; DreamWorks Pictures
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower," Screenplay by Stephen Chbosky; Based on his book; Summit Entertainment
"Silver Linings Playbook," Screenplay by David O. Russell; Based on the novel by Matthew Quick; The Weinstein Company
"The Central Park Five," Written by Sarah Burns and David McMahon and Ken Burns; Sundance Selects
"The Invisible War," Written by Kirby Dick; Cinedigm Entertainment Group
"Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God," Written by Alex Gibney; HBO Documentary Films
"Searching for Sugar Man," Written by Malik Bendejelloul; Sony Pictures Classics
"We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists," Written by Brian Knappenberger; Cinetic Media "West of Memphis," Written by Amy Berg & Billy McMillin; Sony Pictures Classics