Why WB Is Trying For The “Wrong” Award

Why WB Is Trying For The “Wrong” Award


  • Warner Bros. is campaigning for Barbie to obtain a Greatest Authentic Screenplay Oscar nomination, however they need to be aiming for Greatest Tailored Screenplay.
  • Barbie falls clearly into the Greatest Tailored Screenplay class since it’s an adaptation of an present property, however Warner Bros. is pursuing an award in a less-crowded class.
  • It is unclear if Barbie will really obtain a Greatest Authentic Screenplay nomination, as it might not meet the final standards for the class. The marketing campaign technique from Warner Bros. may backfire.

With awards season approaching sooner than a Ken on rollerblades, Warner Bros. Photos is positioning its record-breaking Barbie film as an Oscars 2024 favourite, however the studio is campaigning for the unsuitable award. Identical to star Margot Robbie, Barbie director Greta Gerwig isn’t any stranger to the Academy Awards. She’s been nominated thrice — twice for writing and directing duties on Girl Hen and as soon as for penning the 2019 adaptation of Little Ladies. That stated, it is no shock Warner Bros. needs to arrange an Oscars marketing campaign for Gerwig and co-writer Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story). Nonetheless, the studio continues to be attempting for the unsuitable award.

Notably, the Academy Awards function two writing classes: Greatest Authentic Screenplay and Greatest Tailored Screenplay. The latter is reserved for movies that adapt stage performs, novels, quick tales, comedian books, video video games, or different non-cinematic storytelling mediums for the display screen. Nonetheless, the Greatest Tailored Screenplay class can also be the place for scripts primarily based on any pre-existing mental property (IP) basically. That stated, though Mattel’s character could be very a lot a longtime IP, Warner Bros. is pushing for Barbie to get a Greatest Authentic Screenplay nomination.

Why WB Is Campaigning For Barbie To Get A Greatest Authentic Screenplay Oscar Nomination

Undoubtedly, Barbie suits clearly into the Greatest Tailored Screenplay class. Gerwig and Baumbach took Mattel’s present property and, as per Warner Bros. request, tailored the character and her world right into a feature-length movie. In fact, Barbie went in a slightly shocking route: the titular doll has a full-on existential disaster and stumbles into the human world, amongst different issues. The co-writers’ take is unique, and it is actually not the anticipated route, however that does not make it Greatest Authentic Screenplay materials.

Warner Bros. needs Barbie, its $1.4 billion field workplace smash, to proceed its history-making streak with as many Oscar nominations as attainable. Within the hopes of giving Gerwig and Baumbach the perfect odds of successful a statuette, the studio has rightly acknowledged that the Greatest Tailored Screenplay discipline is extremely crowded. Barbie has to face off in opposition to main contenders like Killers of the Flower Moon, Poor Issues, and, but once more, Oppenheimer. To this point, the Greatest Authentic Screenplay class offers Barbie extra room to breathe, although Previous Lives poses stiff competitors.

Will Barbie Actually Get A Greatest Authentic Screenplay Nomination?

An image of Greta Gerwig smiling and Barbie and Ken sitting in a car

One unpopular opinion in regards to the Barbie film is that it should not be eligible for Warner Bros.’ chosen Oscars class. Primarily based on the final standards for the 2 screenplay classes, it is arduous to see how Barbie is eligible for a Greatest Authentic Screenplay nomination. Nonetheless, it may all boil all the way down to semantics. The Barbie film (and script) claims to be “primarily based on Barbie by Mattel.” The movie is not translating a pre-existing e book to the display screen; it is utilizing the toy-maker’s doll as its protagonist. However is a grey space like that sufficient to substantiate Warner Bros.’ Oscars marketing campaign?

On the topic, Selection factors out that 2014’s The Lego Film, which options animated counterparts of real-life permutations of the beloved bricks, campaigned for Greatest Authentic Screenplay. In actual fact, The Lego Film options different IP that Lego itself licenses, from Batman to Gandalf. These pre-existing characters actually muddy the waters. Whereas The Lego Film shouldn’t be a one-to-one comparability with Barbie, it is most likely essentially the most related situation. Furthermore, the Greatest Authentic Screenplay class typically options biopics (Milk, Straight Outta Compton, and so forth.). Whereas historic figures aren’t IP, it is arduous to say screenplays about them are wholly unique.

Will Barbie Win A Screenplay Oscar?

Rhea Perlman as Ruth Handler in Barbie

So far as 2024 Oscars predictions go, Barbie looks as if a shoo-in for costuming and manufacturing design awards. It is tougher to foretell if the blockbuster could have a lot luck within the top-prize classes. It is arduous to see the Oscar voters giving Greatest Image to Barbie, even when it makes it into the nominees à la High Gun: Maverick. Whereas Gerwig was nominated within the Greatest Director class for Girl Hen, she was infamously shut out of the all-male discipline whereas campaigning with Little Ladies.

On condition that Oscars misstep — and the truth that Gerwig by no means misses — the Academy of Movement Image Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) voting physique will most likely wish to acknowledge the author/director ultimately. It looks as if most of the time, movies which are beloved however not top-prize winners stroll away with writing awards. In fact, there’s additionally an opportunity voters will not choose Barbie for Greatest Authentic Screenplay in the event that they really feel it has been wrongly categorized. Regardless of its intelligent marketing campaign technique, Warner Bros. may find yourself threatening its personal film’s odds of successful any writing Oscars.

Sources: Selection

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