By Joey Magidson
Most years, one can find almost all of the Best Picture hopefuls contained in both the Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay categories. With 10 slots overall, at least half of the nominees are always present, if not more. The two categories are not looked at equally, though, as the Adapted contenders are consistently considered the better Oscar bet than their Original counterparts.
That’s certainly the perception, but is it actually the Academy Awards reality? Do adapted screenplays really have an easier road to Oscar glory than Original ones? In order to try and answer this question in a way that has modern applications, I’m going to focus on solely the past 25 years. That way, we can keep it relevant and not have too unwieldy of a sample size.
When I went back and took a look at the last quarter-decade, I came up with some results that I think you’ll all find rather interesting. While neither black nor white, the statistics show a shade of grey that fits in with most other supposed “rules” of how Academy members vote.