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HomeNews'Barbie' Belongs to Adapted Screenplay Category Is Insulting Says Judd Apatow

‘Barbie’ Belongs to Adapted Screenplay Category Is Insulting Says Judd Apatow

@Photo by Suzie Hanover – © 2012 – Universal Pictures

Judd Apatow has shared his disagreement with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ (AMPAS) decision to include Barbie in the adapted screenplay Oscar category rather than the original screenplay race. The comedy’s script, which was co-written by director Greta Gerwig and her husband, Noah Baumbach, is based on the titular doll line by Mattel.

Apatow, who penned the scripts for such movies as The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, expressed his thoughts on X/Twitter about the classification yesterday. He noted that “It’s insulting to the writers to say they were working off of existing material. There was no existing material or story. There was a clear box.”

Variety exclusively reported on Wednesday that Barbie will be considered in the best adapted screenplay category in the Oscar nomination race. The news comes after its filmmakers campaigning for the original screenplay classification.

Each awards body and voting group has its own subset of rules for movies in terms of which screenplay category they can submit for or ultimately be nominated in. Many films that include characters that appeared in earlier media – including previous Academy Award nominees Toy Story 3, Borat 2, Before Sunset and Before Midnight – were ultimately classified as adapted screenplays.

AMPAS specifically states that the Oscar category for Best Adapted Screenplay is for movies based on some sort of preexisting work – whether that be a play, a book or a sequel. The organization also notes that the Best Original Screenplay category is for purely new works created by the scribes, based on no source material other than their imagination.

Karen Benardello
Karen Benardello
As a life-long fan of films and television shows, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic in 2008. Karen has since been working in the press in New York City, including interviewing film and television casts and crews, writing movie and television news articles and reviewing films and televisions series. Some of her highlights include attending such local events as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and New York Comic-Con, as well as traveling across North America to attend such festivals as the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the Toronto International Film Festival. She has been a member of the Women Film Critics Circle since 2012, and the New York Film Critics Online since 2019.


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