The Writers Guild of America announced their film nominees for the delayed 2021 WGA Awards and, once again, the films that didn’t qualify shaped the list of honorees more than those who did. Awards season players “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “Promising Young Woman” made the cut as expected in the Original Screenplay category. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “One Night in Miami” earned Adapted Screenplay nominations, also as expected.

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The relative surprises were Ramin Bahrani‘s “The White Tiger” in Adapted Screenplay Darius Marder and Abraham Marder‘s “Sound of Metal” for Original Screenplay. Both works likely benefited from the fact scripts for “Nomadland,” “Minari,” “Mank,” “The Father,” “Pieces of a Woman” and “Soul” were not eligible. Five of those six are expected to earn Oscar nominations.

Moreover, it was slightly surprising how many independent or non-streaming released films were ignored by the WGA this year. “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” “Shirley,” “First Cow” and “The King of Staten Island” seemed like potential players for WGA members.

The WGA also announced the documentary nominees and they include only one shortlisted film for the Documentary Oscar, “All In: The Fight For Democracy.”

The winners of this year’s WGA Awards will be handed out on March 21 in a virtual ceremony.

A full list of this year’s nominees are as 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 & Max Barbakow

Promising Young Woman
Written by Emerald Fennell
Focus Features

Sound of Metal
Screenplay by Darius Marder & Abraham Marder
Story by Darius Marder & Derek Cianfrance
Amazon Studios

The Trial of the Chicago 7
Written by Aaron Sorkin


Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
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 Bottom
Screenplay by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Based on the Play Written by August Wilson

News of the World
Screenplay by Paul Greengrass and Luke Davies
Based upon the Novel by Paulette Jiles
Universal Pictures

One Night in Miami
Screenplay by Kemp Powers
Based on the Stage 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


All In: The Fight 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

Red Penguins
Written by Gabe Polsky
Universal Pictures

Totally Under Control
Written by Alex Gibney