news Oscars 2024: Best Original Screenplay Predictions

Nominations voting is from January 11-16, 2024, with official Oscar nominations announced January 23, 2024. Final voting is February 22-27, 2024. And finally, the 96th Oscars telecast will be broadcast on Sunday, March 10 and air live on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT. We update predictions through awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all our 2024 Oscar picks.

The State of the Race​

Half of the Best Original Screenplay winners from the past decade premiered at a festival that occurs during the first six months of the year, so film-goers are probably more informed than they think when faced with predicting which of this year’s scripts could win the Oscar.

Looking at what played at Sundance, which often sets the tone for what to expect of the year’s arthouse releases, Celine Song’s “Past Lives” was an instant hit that has only been strengthened by a successful platform release going into the summer. And it serves as an example of how well the festival did spotlighting female writer-directors this year, with A.V. Rockwell winning the Grand Jury Prize for her affecting feature debut “A Thousand and One,” Maryam Keshavarz’s dramedy “The Persian Version” winning both the Audience Award and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, and Chloe Dumont’s provocative thriller “Fair Play” being the first big acquisition out of Sundance 2023. The films were acquired by A24, Focus Features, Sony Pictures Classics, and Netflix, respectively, which all earned Screenplay Oscar nominations this year, with A24 in particular winning this category for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Speaking of the Best Picture winner helmed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, its SXSW premiere last year cemented the Texas film festival as an alternative destination for launching awards fare early in the year. Ben Affleck’s “Air” hopes to continue that momentum, with the filmmaker, himself a Best Original Screenplay winner, producing and advocating for Alex Convery’s script about the origin of Michael Jordan’s historic deal with Nike, found on the 2021 Black List.

In terms of Oscar favorite auteurs stepping back into the original screenplay race, the main candidate most audiences have seen so far is Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City,” co-conceived with frequent collaborator Roman Coppola, and considered by many to be a return to form for the three-time nominee, last recognized for his “The Grand Budapest Hotel” screenplay in 2015. The film premiered at Cannes this year alongside fellow major contenders “Anatomy of a Fall,” which won the Palme D’Or and was written by director Justine Triet and Arthur Harari, and “May December,” a new Todd Haynes film written by Samy Burch and Alex Mechani.

Some of the known quantities set to be released later this year are “Rustin,” written by Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black and Alex Mechanik, “Saltburn” from recent Oscar-winning writer-director Emerald Fennell, “Drive-Away Dolls” written and directed by four-time Oscar winner Ethan Coen and his wife Tricia Cooke (an ACE Award-nominated editor), and finally “Maestro” from Oscar-winning screenwriter Josh Singer and nine-time nominee Bradley Cooper.

More prospective nominees are sure to appear soon though, as fall festivals announce their film lineups.

Contenders are listed in alphabetical order below. No actor will be deemed a frontrunner until I have seen the film.

Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola (“Asteroid City”)
Alex Convery (“Air”)
Chloe Dumont (“Fair Play”)
A.V. Rockwell (“A Thousand and One”)
Celine Song (“Past Lives”)

Dustin Lance Black and Julian Breece (“Rustin”)
Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik (“May December”)
Ethan Coen and Tricia Cooke (“Drive-Away Dolls”)
Bradley Cooper and Josh Singer (“Maestro”)
Sean Durkin (“The Iron Claw”)
Emerald Fennell (“Saltburn”)
Arthur Harari and Justine Triet (“Anatomy of a Fall”)
David Hemingson (“The Holdovers”)
Justin Kuritzkes (“Challengers”)
David Scarpa (“Napoleon”)

Long Shots:
Zach Baylin, Frank E. Flowers, and Terence Winter (“Bob Marley: One Love”)
Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, Teresa Hsiao, and Adele Lim (“Joy Ride”)
Gareth Edwards and Chris Weitz (“The Creator”)
John Hoberg, Brenda Hsueh, Kat Likkel, and Peter Sohn (“Elemental”)
Maryam Keshavarz (“The Persian Version”)
Angus MacLachlan (“A Little Prayer”)
Jon Raymond and Kelly Reichardt (“Showing Up”)
Stefani Robinson (“Chevalier”)
Alice Rohrwacher (“La Chimera”)
Takuma Takasaki and Wim Wenders (“Perfect Days”)