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WGA Awards: ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’, ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ among film script nominees




The guild has announced nominations in the Original, Adapted and Documentary screenplay categories.

The Writers Guild of America has announced its nominees in the Original Screenplay, Adapted, and Documentary categories for the 2021 WGA Awards.

The nominees for the original screenplay are Judas and the Black Messiah, Palm Springs, Promising Young Woman, Its Metal and The Chicago 7 trial.

Directed by Shaka King, Black messiah focuses on the leader of the Black Panther Party, Fred Hampton, and relates his betrayal by an FBI informant. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield and, as is the case with Warner Bros. ‘All the Slate of 2021 movies, debuted on HBO Max and in theaters around the same time last week. The film is already an actor this season with Kaluuya receiving Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations.

Palm springs has been a beloved genre since its July debut on Hulu, which acquired the title after the film premiered at Sundance. The comedy, starring Andy Samberg as a man stuck in a time loop, is nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Picture, Musical or Comedy.

Emerald Fennell didn’t just write Promising young woman but directed the black comedy and produced it with Margot Robbie and her Luckychap Entertainment. The film stars Carey Mulligan as a woman who seeks revenge for the destroyed life of her best friend, who was victim of the arp. It premiered at Sundance in January 2020 and was released by Focus in December.

Sound of metal has already garnered attention this awards season for Riz Ahmed’s turn as a drummer who loses his hearing. The drama premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2019 and was picked up by Amazon, which debuted in December.

Aaron Sorkin wrote and directed Chicago 7, which took 13 years to get to the screen. (Sorkin originally wrote it in 2007 with plans for Steven Spielberg to direct.) A legal drama from the Vietnam War era, the film found itself in tune with modern times as it tackled to protests, riots, police brutality and political machinations. The film, which Netflix picked up at Paramount last year, already has multiple Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations.

The suitable nominees are Next Borat Movie, Ma Rainey’s Black Background, News from the World, A Night in Miami and The white tiger.

Next Borat movie was released by Amazon in October and sees Sacha Baron Cohen reprise his character as a jester Kazakh reporter from his 2006 film, which was a pop culture and box office sensation at the time. Cohen and part of his team landed a WGA nomination for the previous film and now find themselves in the race.

Black stockings Ma Raineys is another drama that ignites award nominations due to its outstanding performances, in this case of Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman, who makes his last theatrical appearance in the film. The Netflix Project adapts the famous piece by August Wilson and tells the story of blues recording artist Rainey and a recording session that explores issues of race and art.

Like My Rainey, one night in Miami also adapts a play, this one by Kemp Powers. The story is a fictional tale of an encounter with Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, Jim Brown, and Cassius Clay (aka Muhammad Ali) and serves as director actress Regina King’s directorial debut. The film was an excellent performer on the awards circuit, premiered at the Venice Film Festival before having a strong showing at the Toronto Film Festival, where it was a finalist for the Peoples Choice Award, and made won nominations for Critics Choice, Golden Globe and SAG Awards.

Doc candidates are All In: The Fight for Democracy, The Dissident, Herb Alpert Is, Red Penguins and Totally under control.

None of the nominees for the WGA documentary, except All in, landed on the Oscar’s best feature documentary list, unveiled last week.

Amazon scored four nods, with Netflix earning three nominations. Universal Pictures is the only other distributor to have received multiple nominations, landing for World news and Red penguins.

A number of high profile films that are set to vie for Oscar nominations such as Nomadland, Mank, the father and Threatening were not eligible for WGA Award nominations due to guild regulations.

On February 3, the guild unveiled its nominees in the television, new media, news, radio / audio and promotional writing categories.

The 73rd Writers Guild Awards will take place on March 21.

A full list of nominees in the film script categories follows.


Judas and the Black Messiah, Screenplay by Will Berson & Shaka King, Story by Will Berson & Shaka King and Kenny Lucas & Keith Lucas; Warner Bros.

Palm springs, Screenplay by Andy Siara, story by Andy Siara and Max Barbakow; Hulu

Promising young woman, Written by Emerald Fennell; Debugging features

Sound of metal, Screenplay by Darius Marder and Abraham Marder, story by Darius Marder and Derek Cianfrance; Amazon Studios

The Chicago 7 trial, Written by Aaron Sorkin; Netflix


Next Borat movie, Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Peter Baynham & Erica Rivinoja & Dan Mazer & Jena Friedman & Lee Kern, Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Nina Pedrad, based on characters created by Sacha Baron Cohen; Amazon Studios

Ma Rainey’s black background, Screenplay by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, based on the play by August Wilson; Netflix

World news, Screenplay by Paul Greengrass and Luke Davies, based on the novel by Paulette Jiles; Universal Images

One night in Miami, Screenplay by Kemp Powers, based on the play One night in Miami by Kemp Powers; Amazon Studios

The white tiger, Screenplay by Ramin Bahrani, based on the book The white tiger by Aravind Adiga; Netflix


All In: the struggle for democracy, Written by Jack Youngelson; Amazon Studios

The dissident, Written by Mark Monroe and Bryan Fogel; Briarcliff Entertainment

Herb Alpert is, Written by John Scheinfeld; Abramorama

Red penguins, Written by Gabe Polsky; Universal Images

Totally under control, Written by Alex Gibney; Neon

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