‘Wolverine’ Podcast Review: Logan Lets Others Do the Talking, and It Works

With his squat stature, thick muttonchops and gravity-defying hair — plus his penchant for popping shiny claws while flying gnash-teethed at his enemies — Wolverine is among the most visually arresting superheroes. Podcasting might seem like the wrong medium for one of his stories.

Yes, Superman was a radio star years before he appeared in movie serials, on TV, and finally, in multiplexes. But that’s because no one had figured out how to use film to make you believe a man can fly. Now they have. Which means “Wolverine: The Long Night” has to do something the many “X-Men” and solo “Wolverine” movies haven’t. And fortunately it does.

Rather than build a podcast around Wolverine, “Wolverine: The Long Night” works him into the already established tropes of the relatively fresh medium. Stories about mysteries, small-town murders, and especially small-town murder mysteries have thrived in podcasting, maybe because a podcast is one of the only genres almost always consumed on the go: in a car, on a run, in the midst of a chore. The progress we make in the narrative pleasantly parallels our own motion.

Also Read: Here’s How to Listen to Marvel’s Wolverine Podcast Drama

“Wolverine: The Long Night” — Marvel’s first foray into podcasting — doesn’t rely on Wolverine to keep things moving. In fact, it’s willing to slow-burn its way to his first appearance, even at the risk of losing us. It won’t, of course, because we know — and the podcast knows — that we’ll stick around for the first Wolverine sighting. Or at least the first sound of him.

The Wolverine podcast follows the first rule of monster movies — don’t show us the beast too soon — and instead describes lots of carnage that may or may not be Wolverine’s grisly work product.

Wolverine — identified here only by his Christian name, Logan — is barely mentioned in the first episode, which astutely gambles that we know enough about his powers (claws, rapid healing ability, heightened senses, mutant speed and strength) and personality (grumpy, but on the side of the righteous) to bring our own assumptions to every story he’s in.

This time, he’s tooling around a forgotten corner of Alaska. And like many of the best Marvel stories about Logan, this one doesn’t fit into any particularly established timeline. Wolverine just kind of pops up in strange places at strange times, usually tracking someone, usually eager to be left alone.

Also Read: ‘Black Mirror’ Meets Slenderman: When Kids Confuse the Internet and Reality (Podcast)

People start turning up dead pretty much immediately in the first episode — from injuries that sound kind of claw-inflicted — but they don’t especially sound like the usual suspects Logan tends to kill. Has Wolverine gone berserk? Is he being framed? Assuming these murders are Logan’s claw-work, how do they square with his code?

Speaking of codes: “Wolverine” follows one of comic-book adaptations that I don’t really love — one that holds that in order for a superhero story to be taken seriously, it needs to hold off on anything fun for as long as possible.

It can feel, in the first episode, like the podcast is going too far to prove how little it’s going to rely on its hairy antihero. But the time it spends developing other characters seems likely to be worth it. Three episodes were made available to critics for review, and by the end of the third, I appreciated all the time spent on character- and world-building by Benjamin Percy, the writer who scripted “The Long Night.”

The leads include two government agents (Celia Keenan-Bolger and Ato Essandoh), a callow deputy (Andrew Keenan-Bolger), and isolated sheriff (“30 Rock” vet Scott Adsit). We may know Wolverine better than they do, after all these years of comics and “X-Men” movies. Or they may be holding back how much they know. Either way, there’s an interesting meta-narrative at work. We don’t just learn alongside them, but also bring our own assumptions. Sometimes we want to yell at the characters, like people in a movie theater yelling at a screen: It wasn’t just a bear attack! It was a wolverine!

There is also, of course, a cult. Cults both real and fictional are becoming a stock element of podcasts, and “The Long Night” has created one of the cooler ones. No one is as interesting as cult leader Nicholas Prophet (Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell, seen recently on “Mr. Robot”). He’s the most delightful kind of ham, a subtle one, who chews up the scenery we can only immune.

“Wolverine: The Long Night” generally makes good use of its lack of visuals. One particular locale, sonically rendered through hollow sounds and drips, is darker and scarier in my mind than I can imagine it being on TV or film.

And what of “Logan” himself? He’s played by Richard Armitage, who some Logan superfans have fantasycast as a replacement for Hugh Jackman given his exit from the character. By the end of the third episode I felt like Armitage at least had Logan’s voice down cold. And that’s all that matters here, isn’t it?

The Wolverine podcast, “Wolverine: The Long Night,” is available on Stitcher. If that sounds complicated, here’s rundown on how to listen.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Here’s How to Listen to Marvel’s Wolverine Podcast Drama

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With his squat stature, thick muttonchops and gravity-defying hair — plus his penchant for popping shiny claws while flying gnash-teethed at his enemies — Wolverine is among the most visually arresting superheroes. Podcasting might seem like the wrong medium for one of his stories.

Yes, Superman was a radio star years before he appeared in movie serials, on TV, and finally, in multiplexes. But that’s because no one had figured out how to use film to make you believe a man can fly. Now they have. Which means “Wolverine: The Long Night” has to do something the many “X-Men” and solo “Wolverine” movies haven’t. And fortunately it does.

Rather than build a podcast around Wolverine, “Wolverine: The Long Night” works him into the already established tropes of the relatively fresh medium. Stories about mysteries, small-town murders, and especially small-town murder mysteries have thrived in podcasting, maybe because a podcast is one of the only genres almost always consumed on the go: in a car, on a run, in the midst of a chore. The progress we make in the narrative pleasantly parallels our own motion.

“Wolverine: The Long Night” — Marvel’s first foray into podcasting — doesn’t rely on Wolverine to keep things moving. In fact, it’s willing to slow-burn its way to his first appearance, even at the risk of losing us. It won’t, of course, because we know — and the podcast knows — that we’ll stick around for the first Wolverine sighting. Or at least the first sound of him.

The Wolverine podcast follows the first rule of monster movies — don’t show us the beast too soon — and instead describes lots of carnage that may or may not be Wolverine’s grisly work product.

Wolverine — identified here only by his Christian name, Logan — is barely mentioned in the first episode, which astutely gambles that we know enough about his powers (claws, rapid healing ability, heightened senses, mutant speed and strength) and personality (grumpy, but on the side of the righteous) to bring our own assumptions to every story he’s in.

This time, he’s tooling around a forgotten corner of Alaska. And like many of the best Marvel stories about Logan, this one doesn’t fit into any particularly established timeline. Wolverine just kind of pops up in strange places at strange times, usually tracking someone, usually eager to be left alone.

People start turning up dead pretty much immediately in the first episode — from injuries that sound kind of claw-inflicted — but they don’t especially sound like the usual suspects Logan tends to kill. Has Wolverine gone berserk? Is he being framed? Assuming these murders are Logan’s claw-work, how do they square with his code?

Speaking of codes: “Wolverine” follows one of comic-book adaptations that I don’t really love — one that holds that in order for a superhero story to be taken seriously, it needs to hold off on anything fun for as long as possible.

It can feel, in the first episode, like the podcast is going too far to prove how little it’s going to rely on its hairy antihero. But the time it spends developing other characters seems likely to be worth it. Three episodes were made available to critics for review, and by the end of the third, I appreciated all the time spent on character- and world-building by Benjamin Percy, the writer who scripted “The Long Night.”

The leads include two government agents (Celia Keenan-Bolger and Ato Essandoh), a callow deputy (Andrew Keenan-Bolger), and isolated sheriff (“30 Rock” vet Scott Adsit). We may know Wolverine better than they do, after all these years of comics and “X-Men” movies. Or they may be holding back how much they know. Either way, there’s an interesting meta-narrative at work. We don’t just learn alongside them, but also bring our own assumptions. Sometimes we want to yell at the characters, like people in a movie theater yelling at a screen: It wasn’t just a bear attack! It was a wolverine!

There is also, of course, a cult. Cults both real and fictional are becoming a stock element of podcasts, and “The Long Night” has created one of the cooler ones. No one is as interesting as cult leader Nicholas Prophet (Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell, seen recently on “Mr. Robot”). He’s the most delightful kind of ham, a subtle one, who chews up the scenery we can only immune.

“Wolverine: The Long Night” generally makes good use of its lack of visuals. One particular locale, sonically rendered through hollow sounds and drips, is darker and scarier in my mind than I can imagine it being on TV or film.

And what of “Logan” himself? He’s played by Richard Armitage, who some Logan superfans have fantasycast as a replacement for Hugh Jackman given his exit from the character. By the end of the third episode I felt like Armitage at least had Logan’s voice down cold. And that’s all that matters here, isn’t it?

The Wolverine podcast, “Wolverine: The Long Night,” is available on Stitcher. If that sounds complicated, here’s rundown on how to listen.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Here's How to Listen to Marvel's Wolverine Podcast Drama

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‘Call Me by Your Name’ Wins Scripter Award for Adapted Screenplay

“Call Me by Your Name” has been named the year’s best screen adaptation at the 2018 USC Libraries Scripter Award ceremony, winning an honor that goes both to the writer of the screenplay and the author of the original work from which the script was adapted.

Scripter Awards went to André Aciman, who wrote the original novel on which the film is based, and James Ivory, who wrote the screenplay.

The Scripter winner has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for the last seven years in a row, and nine times in the last 10 years. All five of the Oscar nominees in the category – “Call Me by Your Name,” “The Disaster Artist,” “Logan,” “Molly’s Game” and “Mudbound” – were also nominated for the Scripter Award, along with “The Lost City of Z” and “Wonder Woman.”

Also Read: ‘Get Out,’ ‘Lady Bird,’ ‘The Disaster Artist’ Nominated for Writers Guild Awards

The film is also the favorite in the adapted-screenplay category at the Writers Guild Awards, which will be handed out on Sunday.

The Scripter Award for a television adaptation, a category that was created in 2016, went to screenwriter Bruce Miller and author Margaret Atwood for “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Other TV nominees were the miniseries “Alias Grace,” the TV movie “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and episodes of “Big Little Lies,” “Genius” and “Mindhunter.”

The selections were made by a committee of screenwriters, critics, authors, producers and academics, chaired by the former president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman.

The black-tie 30th anniversary Scripter Award ceremony took place in the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library on the USC campus, and was also a fundraiser for the USC Libraries.

Francis Ford Coppola, who went to film school  at USC’s crosstown rival UCLA, received the Scripter Literary Achievement Award.

Also Read: ‘Wonder Woman,’ ‘Lost City of Z’ Get Nominations in Crowded Scripter Awards Field

The Scripter Award winners and nominees:

FILM
“Call Me by Your Name”: author André Aciman and screenwriter James Ivory *WINNER
“The Disaster Artist”: screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber and authors Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell for their nonfiction book “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside ‘The Room,’ the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”
“Logan”: screenwriters Scott Frank, Michael Green and James Mangold, and authors Roy Thomas, Len Wein and John Romita, Sr.
“The Lost City of Z”: screenwriter James Gray and author David Grann
“Molly’s Game”: screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and author Molly Bloom
“Mudbound”: screenwriters Dee Rees and Virgil Williams and author Hillary Jordan
“Wonder Woman”: screenwriter Allan Heinberg and author William Moulton Marston

TELEVISION
“Alias Grace”: screenwriter Sarah Polley and author Margaret Atwood
“Big Little Lies”: screenwriter David E. Kelley for the episode “You Get What You Need” and author Liane Moriarty
“Genius”: screenwriters Noah Pink and Ken Biller for the episode “Einstein: Chapter One” and author Walter Isaacson for his book “Einstein: His Life and Word”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”: screenwriter Bruce Miller for the episode “Offred” and author Margaret Atwood *WINNER
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”: screenwriters Peter Landesman, George C. Wolfe, and Alexander Woo and author Rebecca Skloot
“Mindhunter”: screenwriters Joe Penhall and Jennifer Haley for “Episode 10” and authors John Douglas and Mark Olshaker for their nonfiction book “Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit”

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Jimmy Kimmel’s Oscars Writers Room Has More Men Than Women: ‘There Are Going to Be Some Surgeries’

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“Call Me by Your Name” has been named the year’s best screen adaptation at the 2018 USC Libraries Scripter Award ceremony, winning an honor that goes both to the writer of the screenplay and the author of the original work from which the script was adapted.

Scripter Awards went to André Aciman, who wrote the original novel on which the film is based, and James Ivory, who wrote the screenplay.

The Scripter winner has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for the last seven years in a row, and nine times in the last 10 years. All five of the Oscar nominees in the category – “Call Me by Your Name,” “The Disaster Artist,” “Logan,” “Molly’s Game” and “Mudbound” – were also nominated for the Scripter Award, along with “The Lost City of Z” and “Wonder Woman.”

The film is also the favorite in the adapted-screenplay category at the Writers Guild Awards, which will be handed out on Sunday.

The Scripter Award for a television adaptation, a category that was created in 2016, went to screenwriter Bruce Miller and author Margaret Atwood for “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Other TV nominees were the miniseries “Alias Grace,” the TV movie “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and episodes of “Big Little Lies,” “Genius” and “Mindhunter.”

The selections were made by a committee of screenwriters, critics, authors, producers and academics, chaired by the former president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman.

The black-tie 30th anniversary Scripter Award ceremony took place in the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library on the USC campus, and was also a fundraiser for the USC Libraries.

Francis Ford Coppola, who went to film school  at USC’s crosstown rival UCLA, received the Scripter Literary Achievement Award.

The Scripter Award winners and nominees:

FILM
“Call Me by Your Name”: author André Aciman and screenwriter James Ivory *WINNER
“The Disaster Artist”: screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber and authors Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell for their nonfiction book “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside ‘The Room,’ the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”
“Logan”: screenwriters Scott Frank, Michael Green and James Mangold, and authors Roy Thomas, Len Wein and John Romita, Sr.
“The Lost City of Z”: screenwriter James Gray and author David Grann
“Molly’s Game”: screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and author Molly Bloom
“Mudbound”: screenwriters Dee Rees and Virgil Williams and author Hillary Jordan
“Wonder Woman”: screenwriter Allan Heinberg and author William Moulton Marston

TELEVISION
“Alias Grace”: screenwriter Sarah Polley and author Margaret Atwood
“Big Little Lies”: screenwriter David E. Kelley for the episode “You Get What You Need” and author Liane Moriarty
“Genius”: screenwriters Noah Pink and Ken Biller for the episode “Einstein: Chapter One” and author Walter Isaacson for his book “Einstein: His Life and Word”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”: screenwriter Bruce Miller for the episode “Offred” and author Margaret Atwood *WINNER
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”: screenwriters Peter Landesman, George C. Wolfe, and Alexander Woo and author Rebecca Skloot
“Mindhunter”: screenwriters Joe Penhall and Jennifer Haley for “Episode 10” and authors John Douglas and Mark Olshaker for their nonfiction book “Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Writers Guild Announces 'Zero Tolerance Policy' on Sexual Harassment

Jimmy Kimmel's Oscars Writers Room Has More Men Than Women: 'There Are Going to Be Some Surgeries'

'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' 'The Handmaid's Tale,' 'Better Call Saul' Among Writers Guild TV Nominees

‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Blade Runner,’ ‘Black Mirror’ Win Art Directors Guild Awards

“The Shape of Water,” “Blade Runner 2049” and “Logan” walked away with top film honors at the 2018 Art Directors Guild Awards Saturday night. On the television side, “Game of Thrones,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Black Mirror” were among the winners. Previously announced, animation directors Ron Clements and John Musker received the William Cameron Menzies […]

“The Shape of Water,” “Blade Runner 2049” and “Logan” walked away with top film honors at the 2018 Art Directors Guild Awards Saturday night. On the television side, “Game of Thrones,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Black Mirror” were among the winners. Previously announced, animation directors Ron Clements and John Musker received the William Cameron Menzies […]

‘Logan’ Director’s Secret to Oscar Breakthrough: Exposing What Logan Fears Most

“Logan” made Oscar history by becoming the first ever superhero movie to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay — and writer/director James Mangold says they key to its success was focusing on what Logan fears most.

It isn’t Sentinels, Sabretooth, or any of the legion of foes he’s dispatched over the decades.

“For us, ‘Logan’ was always going to be a dramatic character piece,” Mangold, who wrote the film with Scott Frank and Michael Green, told TheWrap. “The last chapter of Wolverine’s arc, to us, should be about what he fears most, and that’s not the end of the world or his life, but intimacy. So every step of the way, we wanted to put Logan in a situation where he’d be in the greatest jeopardy, which is being asked to be vulnerable and to trust.”

Mangold said he and his fellow writers are grateful not only to the Academy, but to the “X-Men” fans who were willing to join him as Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart’s delivered their final performances as Wolverine and Professor Xavier.

“When I first started writing the film with Scott Frank and Michael Green, I was really nervous over whether the take we were going to have on Logan was going to be something that people were going to be shocked by and reject or embrace. The way people have leaned into this story has been very moving, and it’s really gratifying that we put this picture out almost a year ago and that people are still talking about it so much,” Mangold said.

“Logan” was loosely inspired by Marc Millar’s 2009 comic “Old Man Logan,” which finds the former Wolverine crossing a harshly divided America. The film finds a weakened, older Logan trying to protect both a senile and unstable Xavier and a young mutant named Laura (a.k.a. X-23), in a world where mutants are either engineered for nefarious purposes or exterminated.

Superhero films of late have been divided by the darkness of DC efforts like “Batman v Superman” and the comic tone of Marvel hits like “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

“Logan” is dark in places and even sad, but Mangold says he wanted his tone to suit the story.

“‘Dark’ can just be an art direction,” Mangold said.

The film had two major inspirations, he said. The first was X-23, an “X-Men” character who debuted in the animated series “X-Men: Evolution” and has since grown in the comics as a successor and foil to Wolverine. The second was the 1950s western “Shane,” a film that is referenced in “Logan” and which provides the words for Laura’s tearful tribute to Logan at the end of the film.

Also Read: How ‘Justice League’ Became a ‘Frankenstein’ (Exclusive)

Much like Logan, the titular gunslinger in “Shane” finds himself running from a dark past, finding new purpose in helping a group of people he comes to see as a family, only to sacrifice everything for them.

“The first time I saw ‘Shane’ was when my dad got a Betamax machine and I watched it in upstate New York with him,” he recalls. “In fact, in the scene where Laura watches the film with Charles, the story he brings up about how he first saw the film is actually how Patrick [Stewart] saw the film for the first time, and it was something we just added into the script.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Oscars 2018: Host Jimmy Kimmel Seeks Therapy for a Year of ‘Moonlight’ Trauma in New Promo (Video)

Oscars 2018 Analysis: Voters Send Clear Message on Diversity in Race and Gender

Oscars: ‘The Shape of Water’ Swims Ahead With 13 Nominations

“Logan” made Oscar history by becoming the first ever superhero movie to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay — and writer/director James Mangold says they key to its success was focusing on what Logan fears most.

It isn’t Sentinels, Sabretooth, or any of the legion of foes he’s dispatched over the decades.

“For us, ‘Logan’ was always going to be a dramatic character piece,” Mangold, who wrote the film with Scott Frank and Michael Green, told TheWrap. “The last chapter of Wolverine’s arc, to us, should be about what he fears most, and that’s not the end of the world or his life, but intimacy. So every step of the way, we wanted to put Logan in a situation where he’d be in the greatest jeopardy, which is being asked to be vulnerable and to trust.”

Mangold said he and his fellow writers are grateful not only to the Academy, but to the “X-Men” fans who were willing to join him as Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart’s delivered their final performances as Wolverine and Professor Xavier.

“When I first started writing the film with Scott Frank and Michael Green, I was really nervous over whether the take we were going to have on Logan was going to be something that people were going to be shocked by and reject or embrace. The way people have leaned into this story has been very moving, and it’s really gratifying that we put this picture out almost a year ago and that people are still talking about it so much,” Mangold said.

“Logan” was loosely inspired by Marc Millar’s 2009 comic “Old Man Logan,” which finds the former Wolverine crossing a harshly divided America. The film finds a weakened, older Logan trying to protect both a senile and unstable Xavier and a young mutant named Laura (a.k.a. X-23), in a world where mutants are either engineered for nefarious purposes or exterminated.

Superhero films of late have been divided by the darkness of DC efforts like “Batman v Superman” and the comic tone of Marvel hits like “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

“Logan” is dark in places and even sad, but Mangold says he wanted his tone to suit the story.

“‘Dark’ can just be an art direction,” Mangold said.

The film had two major inspirations, he said. The first was X-23, an “X-Men” character who debuted in the animated series “X-Men: Evolution” and has since grown in the comics as a successor and foil to Wolverine. The second was the 1950s western “Shane,” a film that is referenced in “Logan” and which provides the words for Laura’s tearful tribute to Logan at the end of the film.

Much like Logan, the titular gunslinger in “Shane” finds himself running from a dark past, finding new purpose in helping a group of people he comes to see as a family, only to sacrifice everything for them.

“The first time I saw ‘Shane’ was when my dad got a Betamax machine and I watched it in upstate New York with him,” he recalls. “In fact, in the scene where Laura watches the film with Charles, the story he brings up about how he first saw the film is actually how Patrick [Stewart] saw the film for the first time, and it was something we just added into the script.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Oscars 2018: Host Jimmy Kimmel Seeks Therapy for a Year of 'Moonlight' Trauma in New Promo (Video)

Oscars 2018 Analysis: Voters Send Clear Message on Diversity in Race and Gender

Oscars: 'The Shape of Water' Swims Ahead With 13 Nominations

Genre Movies Get Their Moment in the Oscar Spotlight

This year’s Oscar nominations ended up being a boon to genre movies, which seem to always struggle with Academy voters. Not least of them is Guillermo del Toro’s field-leading fairytale “The Shape of Water.” A beautifully-crafted distant cousin to del Toro’s previous Oscar success story, “Pan’s Labyrinth,” the film scooped up 13 nominations, including best […]

This year’s Oscar nominations ended up being a boon to genre movies, which seem to always struggle with Academy voters. Not least of them is Guillermo del Toro’s field-leading fairytale “The Shape of Water.” A beautifully-crafted distant cousin to del Toro’s previous Oscar success story, “Pan’s Labyrinth,” the film scooped up 13 nominations, including best […]

USC Scripter Award Nominees Include ‘Logan,’ ‘Mindhunter’ and Margaret Atwood, Twice

The winner of the Scripter Award often goes on to other honors, including the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The jury vote for the 30th USC Libraries Scripter Award nominees was so close that two ties resulted for the film and television categories. Due to a three-way tie in the nomination round, the writers of seven films and the works on which the films are based will compete for the honors this year.

The winner of the Scripter Award often goes on to other honors, including the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Winners in recent years include “Moonlight,” “The Big Short,” “The Imitation Game,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Argo,” which all won the Oscar in that category.

The finalist writers for film adaptation are, in alphabetical order by film title:

  • Author Andreì Aciman and screenwriter James Ivory for “Call Me By Your Name”
  • Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for “The Disaster Artist” and authors Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell for their nonfiction book “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside ‘The Room,’ the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”
  • Screenwriters Scott Frank, Michael Green, and James Mangold, and authors Roy Thomas, Len Wein, and John Romita, Sr., for “Logan
  • Screenwriter James Gray and author David Grann for “The Lost City of Z”
  • Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and author Molly Bloom for “Molly’s Game”
  • Screenwriters Dee Rees and Virgil Williams and author Hillary Jordan for “Mudbound”
  • Screenwriter Allan Heinberg and author William Moulton Marston for “Wonder Woman”

Writers of six television shows and their printed source material will vie for the Scripter Award this year. The finalist writers—including for the first time a single author, Margaret Atwood, with nominations for two series in a single year—for television are, in alphabetical order by series title:

    • Screenwriter Sarah Polley and author Margaret Atwood for “Alias Grace”
    • David E. Kelley, for the episode “You Get What You Need” from “Big Little Lies,” and author Liane Moriarty
    • Noah Pink and Ken Biller for the episode “Einstein: Chapter One” from “Genius,” and author Walter Isaacson for his book “Einstein: His Life and Word”
    • Bruce Miller for the episode “Offred” from “The Handmaid’s Tale” and author Margaret Atwood
    • Peter Landesman, George C. Wolfe, and Alexander Woo for the television film “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” and author Rebecca Skloot
    • Joe Penhall and Jennifer Haley for “Episode 10” of “Mindhunter” and authors John Douglas and Mark Olshaker for their nonfiction book “Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit”

Chaired by USC professor and past president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, the 2018 Scripter selection committee selected the finalists from a field of 91 film and 28 television adaptations. Serving on the selection committee, among many others (including me), are film critics Leonard Maltin and Kenneth Turan; authors Michael Chabon and Michael Ondaatje; screenwriters Geoffrey Fletcher and Erin Cressida Wilson; producers Suzanne Todd, Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger; and USC deans Elizabeth Daley of the School of Cinematic Arts and Catherine Quinlan of the USC Libraries.

The studios distributing the finalist films and current publishers of the printed works are:

“Call Me By Your Name”—Sony Pictures Classics and Picador
“The Disaster Artist”—A24 and Simon & Schuster
“Logan”—20th Century Fox and Marvel Comics
“The Lost City of Z”—Amazon Studios and Simon & Schuster
“Molly’s Game”—STX Entertainment and Dey Street Books
“Mudbound”—Netflix and Algonquin Books
“Wonder Woman”—Warner Bros. and DC Comics

The networks airing the finalist television series and current publishers of the original printed works are:

“Alias Grace”—Netflix and Anchor
“Big Little Lies”—HBO and Berkley
“Genius”—National Geographic and Simon & Schuster
“The Handmaid’s Tale”—Hulu and Anchor
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”— HBO and Broadway Books
“Mindhunter”—Netflix and Gallery Books

The USC Libraries will announce the winning authors and screenwriters at a black-tie dinner on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 in the elegant Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library of the University of Southern California.