With awards season well underway, eyes are turning to the various filmmaking guilds, whose nominations have historically been good predictors of which films will take away prizes—or at the very least receive nods—at the Oscars come February.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) have announced their 2017 nominees, which, per Variety, were selected by the WGA’s 12,000 eligible members from among a pool of 55 films, and there has been at least one surprise.
Amid the expected recognition that went to Oscar heavyweights like La La Land, Moonlight and Manchester By the Sea in the original screenplay category, and dark horse prospects like Fences, Arrival, and Hidden Figures in the adapted screenplay category, there emerged the smirking face of a most irreverent superhero who has been acknowledged by the very kind of establishment he routinely subverts. Yes, against all odds, Deadpool has beaten out the likes of Silence, Love & Friendship and Hacksaw Ridge in the adapted screenplay category, making it the third superhero film in the Guild’s history to receive a nomination (the other two being The Dark Knight in 2009 and Guardians of the Galaxy in 2015).
Such curveballs are welcome disruptions in the otherwise fairly predictable grind of awards season, though many will probably say that Whit Stillman’s brutally sassy take on Jane Austen trumps Marvel’s brand of tongue-in-cheekery any day. Regardless of what your opinion is on the WGA’s nominations, however, the list of nominees is still illuminating because it expresses screenwriters’ opinions about their own craft. And if you haven’t caught up with all the major awards contenders, this list isn’t a bad place to start.
For a full list of nominees—including in TV, for which new series Stranger Things, Westworld and Atlanta all received nods—click here.