Oscars 2021 Best Original Screenplay Predictions

Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars from Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis. Following Academy Awards history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar predictions are updated regularly with the current year's contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. Eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and will be displayed next to revision date.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE COLLECTIVE



UPDATED: Apr. 21, 2021

PRICE PREDICTION COMMENTARY: Despite winning the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, Aaron Sorkin couldn’t win elsewhere. With BAFTA, Critics Choice and WGA in hand, Emerald Fennell is on track to become the second female solo winner in this category after Diablo Cody for “Juno” (2007).

Will win: “Promising Young Woman” – Emerald Fennell
Could win: “The Chicago Seven’s Trial” – Aaron Sorkin
Should win: “Minari” – Lee Isaac Chung
Should have been here: “The Quarantine Version” – Radha Blank

“Young Promising Woman” (Focus Features) – Emerald Fennell
Rewards Circuit Winners Table (2020-2021)
2021 Awards Season Calendar


  1. "Promising Young Woman" (Focus features)
    Emerald Fennell

    "You didn’t mean what’s a promising young woman like me doing working at a shitty coffee shop?" - Carey Mulligan (Cassie)

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Emerald Fennell
    SYNOPSIS: A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against those who cross her path.
    STARRING: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Laverne Cox, Molly Shannon, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Max Greenfield, Alison Brie, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Connie Britton, Chris Lowell, Adam Brody, Sam Richardson

  2. "The Trial of the Chicago 7" (Netflix)
    Aaron Sorkin

    Lazy loaded image

    "If we don’t win elections it doesn’t matter what’s second and it’s astonishing that someone still has to explain that to you." - Eddie Redmayne (Tom Hayden)

    (2017) - "Molly's Game" - best adapted screenplay
    (2011) - "Moneyball" - best adapted screenplay
    (2010) - "The Social Network" - best adapted screenplay - WINNER

    DIRECTOR: Aaron Sorkin
    SYNOPSIS: The story of 7 people on trial stemming from various charges surrounding the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.
    STARRING: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella, John Carroll Lynch, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Alex Sharp, Jeremy Strong

  3. "Minari" (A24)
    Lee Isaac Chung

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    "God bless you. I work crop farms all over. Don’t be scared of these tattoos, I’m a good worker." - Will Patton (Paul)

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated 

    DIRECTOR: Lee Isaac Chung
    SYNOPSIS: A Korean family moves to Arkansas to start a farm in the 1980s.
    STARRING: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan S. Kim, Yuh-jung Youn, Will Patton

  4. "Sound of Metal" (Amazon Studios)
    Abraham Marder, Darius Marder, Derek Cianfrance

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    "You hurt yourself and you hurt me. I'll hurt myself too Rubi. I'll hurt myself too! Go right back there. Right now. Promise. Say it.." - Olivia Cooke (Lou)

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated 

    DIRECTOR: Darius Marder
    SYNOPSIS: A heavy-metal drummer's life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.
    STARRING: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Mathieu Almaric, Lauren Ridloff

  5. "Judas and the Black Messiah" (Warner Bros)
    Will Berson, Shaka King, Keith Lucas, Kenneth Lucas

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    "There’s strength in numbers -- power anywhere there’s people. And in order to overthrow this racist, fascist, nefarious U.S. Government, it’s gonna take everybody." - Daniel Kaluuya (Fred Hampton)

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated 

    DIRECTOR: Shaka King
    SYNOPSIS: The story of Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, and his fateful betrayal by FBI informant William O'Neal.
    STARRING: Lakeith Stanfield, Daniel Kaluuya, Dominique Fishback, Jesse Plemons, Martin Sheen, Dominique Thorne, Algee Smith, Lil Rel Howery, Jermaine Fowler

= no release date planned / may be delayed / may not be eligible
= could be the subject of a campaign in the main or secondary categories / categories of original or adapted scenarios

AWARD CATEGORY HISTORY (Original Screenplay)

The Oscars, better known as Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The most awarded films in Oscar history are “Ben-Hur”, “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” with 11 statuettes. The most nominated films in Academy history are “All About Eve”, “Titanic” and “La La Land” at age 14. “La La Land” is the only film of the three to lose Best Picture. The biggest Oscar “losers”, that is, the most nominated and walked away with zero awards, are “The Turning Point” of 1977 and “The Color Purple” of 1985 at 11 each. Woody Allen has the most wins in the original screenplay with three and nominations at 16. Charles Brackett, Paddy Chayefsky, Quentin Tarantino and Billy Wilder have all won twice. Federico Fellini is the second most nominated writer with six nominations.

Oscars predictions (all categories)

2021 Golden Globes Predictions (Film)

2021 SAG Awards Predictions (Film)

About the Oscars

The Oscars, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, the nominees and laureates have been selected by members of the Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). 17 branches are represented among nearly 10,000 members. The branches are Actors, Partners, Casting Directors, Cinematographers, Costume Designers, Directors, Documentaries, Executives, Film Editors, Makeup Artists and Hairdressers, Marketing and Relations audiences, members in general, members in general (artist representatives), music, producers, production design, short and animated feature films, sound, visual effects and writers.

  • The Oscars are scheduled for Sunday, April 25, 2021.

About the Golden Globes

The Golden Globes Awards, organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, has been held annually with 93 members since 1944. The group recognizes excellence in film and television in the drama and comedy or musical categories. “La La Land” by Damien Chazelle holds the record for the most awards won by a single film with seven. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Milos Forman and “Midnight Express” by Alan Parker are next with six each. Robert Altman’s “Nashville” holds the record for most film nominations with 11 while Colin Higgins’ “Foul Play”, Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather Part III” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” by Mike Nichols? share the record for most nominations and having won no awards at seven.

  • The Golden Globes are scheduled for February 28, 2021.

About the SAG Awards

The Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted by SAG-AFTRA, is an annual awards show that has become one of the most important and key metrics for the Oscars. Four films won the most SAG awards with three: “American Beauty” in 1999, “Chicago in 2002”, “The Help” in 2011 and “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” in 2017. Three films were nominated for the highest number of SAG Awards, including five: “Shakespeare in Love” from 1998, “Chicago” and “Doubt” from 2008.

  • The SAG Awards will take place on Sunday April 4, 2021

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