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Aaron Benjamin Sorkin (born June 9, 1961)[1] is an American screenwriter, director, producer, and playwright. His works include the Broadway plays A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
and The Farnsworth Invention; the television series Sports Night, The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and The Newsroom; and the films A Few Good Men, The American President, Charlie Wilson's War, Moneyball, and Steve Jobs. For writing The Social Network, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, among other awards. He made his feature directorial debut in 2017 with Molly's Game, which he also wrote. Sorkin's trademark rapid-fire dialogue and extended monologues are complemented, in television, by frequent collaborator Thomas Schlamme's characteristic directing technique called the "walk and talk". These sequences consist of single tracking shots of long duration involving multiple characters engaging in conversation as they move through the set; characters enter and exit the conversation as the shot continues without any cuts.

Contents

1 Early years

1.1 Early career as an actor and playwright 1.2 A Few Good Men

2 Screenwriting

2.1 Working under contract for Castle Rock Entertainment 2.2 Script doctor for hire

3 Television writing

3.1 Sports Night
Sports Night
(1998–2000) 3.2 The West Wing
The West Wing
(1999–2006) 3.3 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
(2006–2007)

4 Other works

4.1 Theatre 4.2 Film 4.3 Television 4.4 Prospective projects

5 Writing
Writing
process and style 6 Personal life 7 Filmography

7.1 Films 7.2 Television 7.3 Plays 7.4 Cameo acting appearances

8 Accolades

8.1 Academy Awards 8.2 British Academy Film Awards 8.3 Critics' Choice Movie Awards 8.4 Golden Globe Awards 8.5 Primetime Emmy Awards 8.6 Satellite Awards 8.7 Writers Guild of America Awards

9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links

Early years[edit] Sorkin was born in Manhattan, New York City,[2] to a Jewish family,[3][4] and was raised in the New York suburb of Scarsdale.[5] His mother was a schoolteacher and his father a copyright lawyer who had fought in WWII and put himself through college on the G.I. Bill; both his older sister and brother went on to become lawyers.[6][7][8] His paternal grandfather was one of the founders of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU).[8][9][10] Sorkin took an early interest in acting. Before he reached his teenage years, his parents were taking him to the theatre to see shows such as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and That Championship Season.[11] Sorkin attended Scarsdale High School
Scarsdale High School
where he became involved in the drama and theatre club.[12] In eighth grade he played General Bullmoose in the musical Li'l Abner.[13] At Scarsdale High, he served as vice president of the drama club in his junior and senior years and graduated in 1979.[14][15] In 1979, Sorkin attended Syracuse University. In his freshman year he failed a class that was a core requirement. It was a devastating setback because he wanted to be an actor, and the drama department did not allow students to take the stage until they completed all the core freshman classes. Determined to do better, he returned in his sophomore year, and graduated in 1983.[16] Recalling the influence on him at college of drama teacher Arthur Storch, Sorkin recalled, after Storch's death in March 2013, that "Arthur's reputation as a director, and as a disciple of Lee Strasberg, was a big reason why a lot of us went to S.U. ... 'You have the capacity to be so much better than you are', he started saying to me in September of my senior year. He was still saying it in May. On the last day of classes, he said it again, and I said, 'How?', and he answered, 'Dare to fail'. I've been coming through on his admonition ever since".[17] Early career as an actor and playwright[edit]

"I don't want to analyze myself or anything, but I think, in fact I know this to be true, that I enter the world through what I write. I grew up believing, and continue to believe, that I am a screw-up, that growing up with my family and friends, I had nothing to offer in any conversation. But when I started writing, suddenly there was something that I brought to the party that was at a high-enough level."

—Aaron Sorkin, on becoming a writer.[6]

After graduating from Syracuse University
Syracuse University
with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre
Musical Theatre
in 1983, Sorkin moved to New York City
New York City
where he spent much of the 1980s as a struggling, sporadically-employed actor[13] who also worked odd jobs, such as delivering singing telegrams,[13] driving a limousine, touring Alabama with the children's theatre company Traveling Playhouse,[6] handing out fliers promoting a hunting-and-fishing show,[13] and bartending at Broadway's Palace Theatre.[18] One weekend, while housesitting at a friend's place he found an IBM Selectric typewriter, started typing, and "felt a phenomenal confidence and a kind of joy that [he] had never experienced before in [his] life."[6] He continued writing and eventually put together his first play, Removing All Doubt, which he sent to his old Syracuse theatre teacher, Arthur Storch, who was impressed. In 1984, Removing All Doubt was staged for drama students at his alma mater, Syracuse University. After that, he wrote Hidden in This Picture which debuted off-off-Broadway at Steve Olsen's West Bank Cafe Downstairs Theatre Bar in New York City
New York City
in 1988. The contents of his first two plays got him a theatrical agent.[19] Producer John A. McQuiggan saw the production of Hidden in This Picture and commissioned Sorkin to turn the one-act into a full-length play called Making Movies.[20] A Few Good Men[edit] Main article: A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
(play)

A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
at London's Theatre Royal Haymarket on August 31, 2005.

Sorkin got the inspiration to write his next play, a courtroom drama called A Few Good Men, from a phone conversation with his sister Deborah (who had graduated from Boston University Law School and signed up for a three-year stint with the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps). Deborah told Sorkin that she was going to Guantanamo Bay to defend a group of Marines who came close to killing a fellow Marine in a hazing ordered by a superior officer. Sorkin took that information and wrote much of his story on cocktail napkins while bartending at the Palace Theatre.[21] He and his roommates had purchased a Macintosh 512K
Macintosh 512K
so when he returned home he would empty his pockets of the cocktail napkins and type them into the computer, forming a basis from which he wrote many drafts for A Few Good Men.[22] In 1988, Sorkin sold the film rights for A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
to producer David Brown before it premiered,[23] in a deal that was reportedly "well into six figures".[24] Brown had read an article in The New York Times about Sorkin's one-act play Hidden in This Picture and found out Sorkin also had a play called A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
that was having Off Broadway readings.[23] Brown produced A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre. It starred Tom Hulce
Tom Hulce
and was directed by Don Scardino. After opening in late 1989, it ran for 497 performances.[25] Sorkin continued writing Making Movies and in 1990 it debuted Off-Broadway at the Promenade Theatre, produced by John A. McQuiggan, and again directed by Don Scardino.[20] Meanwhile, David Brown was producing a few projects at TriStar Pictures
TriStar Pictures
and tried to interest them in making A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
into a film but his proposal was declined due to the lack of star actor involvement. Brown later got a call from Alan Horn
Alan Horn
at Castle Rock Entertainment
Castle Rock Entertainment
who was anxious to make the film. Rob Reiner, a Castle Rock producing partner, opted to direct it.[23] Screenwriting[edit] Working under contract for Castle Rock Entertainment[edit] Main articles: A Few Good Men, Malice (film), and The American President In the early 1990s, Sorkin worked under contract for Castle Rock Entertainment, Inc.[26] He wrote the scripts for A Few Good Men, Malice and The American President: The three films grossed about US$400 million worldwide.[2] While writing for Castle Rock he became friends with colleagues such as William Goldman
William Goldman
and Rob Reiner and met his future wife Julia Bingham, who was one of Castle Rock's business affairs lawyers.[27] Sorkin wrote several drafts of the script for A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
in his Manhattan
Manhattan
apartment,[26] learning the craft from a book about screenplay format.[19] He then spent several months at the Los Angeles offices of Castle Rock, working on the script with director Rob Reiner.[26] William Goldman
William Goldman
(who regularly worked under contract at Castle Rock) became his mentor and helped him to adapt his stageplay into a screenplay.[28] The movie was directed by Reiner, starred Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore
Demi Moore
and Kevin Bacon, and was produced by Brown. A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
was released in 1992 and was a box office success.[29] Goldman also approached Sorkin with a story premise, which Sorkin developed into the script for Malice. Goldman oversaw the project as creative consultant while Sorkin wrote the first two drafts. However, he had to leave the project to finish up the script for A Few Good Men, so screenwriter Scott Frank stepped in and wrote two drafts of the Malice screenplay. When production on A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
wrapped up, Sorkin took over and resumed working on the Malice right through the final shooting script. Harold Becker directed the film, a medical thriller released in 1993, which starred Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman
and Alec Baldwin. Malice had mixed reviews. Vincent Canby
Vincent Canby
in The New York Times described the film as "deviously entertaining from its start through its finish".[30] Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
gave it 2 out of 4 stars,[31] and Peter Travers in a 2000 Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
review summarized it as having "suspense but no staying power".[32] Sorkin's last produced screenplay for Castle Rock was The American President and once again he worked with William Goldman, who served as a creative consultant.[33] It took Sorkin a few years to write the screenplay for The American President, which started off as a massive 385-page screenplay; it was eventually whittled down to a standard shooting script of around 120 pages.[2] Rob Reiner
Rob Reiner
directed. The film was critically acclaimed. Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Times described the film as "genial and entertaining if not notably inspired", and believed its most interesting aspects were the "pipe dreams about the American political system and where it could theoretically be headed".[34] Script doctor for hire[edit] Sorkin did uncredited script doctor work on several films in the 1990s. He wrote some quips for Sean Connery
Sean Connery
and Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage
in The Rock.[35] He worked on Excess Baggage, a comedy about a girl who stages her own kidnapping to get her father's attention, and rewrote some of Will Smith's scenes in Enemy of the State.[35] Sorkin collaborated with Warren Beatty
Warren Beatty
on a couple of scripts, one of which was Bulworth.[36] Beatty, known for occasionally personally financing his film projects through pre-production, also hired Sorkin to rewrite a script titled Ocean of Storms which never went into production. At one point Sorkin sued Beatty for proper compensation for his work on the Ocean of Storms script; once the matter was settled, he resumed working on the script.[36][37][38][39] Television writing[edit] Sports Night
Sports Night
(1998–2000)[edit] Main article: Sports Night Sorkin came up with the idea to write about the behind-the-scenes happenings on a sports show while he was living in a room in the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles
Los Angeles
writing the screenplay for The American President.[6][40] He would work late, with the TV tuned into ESPN, watching continuous replays of SportsCenter.[40][41] The show inspired him to try to write a feature film about a sports show but he was unable to structure the story for film, so instead he turned his idea into a TV comedy series.[42][43] Sports Night
Sports Night
was produced by Disney and debuted on the Disney-owned ABC network in the fall of 1998.[44] Sorkin fought with the ABC network during the first season over the use of a laugh track and a live studio audience. The laugh track was widely decried by critics as jarring, with Joyce Millman of Salon.com describing it as "the most unconvincing laugh track you've ever heard".[45][46] Sorkin commented that: "Once you do shoot in front of a live audience, you have no choice but to use the laugh track. Oftentimes [enhancing the laughs] is the right thing to do. Sometimes you do need a cymbal crash. Other times, it alienates me."[45] The laugh track was gradually dialed down and was gone by the end of the first season.[47] Sorkin was triumphant in the second season when ABC agreed to his demands, unburdening the crew of the difficulties of staging a scene for a live audience and leaving the cast with more time to rehearse.[44] Although Sports Night
Sports Night
was critically acclaimed, ABC canceled the show after two seasons due to its low ratings.[48][49] Sorkin entertained offers to continue the show on other television channels but declined all the offers as they were mainly contingent on his involvement which would have been a difficult prospect given that he was simultaneously writing The West Wing
The West Wing
at that point.[40] The West Wing
The West Wing
(1999–2006)[edit] Main article: The West Wing Sorkin conceived the political drama The West Wing
The West Wing
in 1997 when he went unprepared to a lunch with producer John Wells and in a panic pitched to Wells a series centered on the senior staff of the White House,[2] using leftover ideas from his script for The American President.[50] He told Wells about his visits to the White House while doing research for The American President, and they found themselves discussing public service and the passion of the people who serve. Wells took the concept and pitched it to the NBC
NBC
network, but was told to wait because the facts behind the Lewinsky scandal
Lewinsky scandal
were breaking and there was concern that an audience would not be able to take a series about the White House seriously.[51] When a year later some other networks started showing interest in The West Wing, NBC
NBC
decided to greenlight the series despite their previous reluctance.[50] The pilot debuted in the fall of 1999 and was produced by Warner Bros. Television.[50]

"Stockard had done an episode of the show as the First Lady ... She took me out to lunch and said she really liked doing the show and wanted to do more and started asking me questions like, 'Who do you think this character is?' And those aren't questions I can answer. [As a writer] I can only answer, what do they want?"

—Aaron Sorkin, on creating characters.[52]

The West Wing
The West Wing
was honored with nine Primetime Emmy Awards for its debut season, making the series a record holder for most Emmys won by a series in a single season at the time.[53] Following the ceremony, a fiasco ensued, centered on the category for Outstanding Writing
Writing
for a Drama Series. The West Wing
The West Wing
episode "In Excelsis Deo" won, which was awarded to Sorkin and Rick Cleveland, while it was reported in a The New York Times article that Cleveland had been ushered off the stage by Sorkin without being given a chance to say a few words.[54] The story behind The West Wing
The West Wing
episode is based on Cleveland's father, a Korean war veteran who spent the last years of his life on the street, as Cleveland explains in his FreshYarn.com essay titled "I Was the Dumb Looking Guy with the Wire-Rimmed Glasses".[55] A back and forth took place between Sorkin and Cleveland in a public web forum at Mighty Big TV where Sorkin explained that he gives his writers "Story By" credit on a rotating basis "by way of a gratuity" and that he had thrown out Cleveland's script and started from scratch.[56] In the end, Sorkin apologized to Cleveland.[57] Cleveland and Sorkin also won the Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Drama at the 53rd Writer Guild of America Awards for "In Excelsis Deo".[58] In 2001, after wrapping up the second season of The West Wing, Sorkin had a drug relapse, only two months after receiving a Phoenix Rising Award for drug recovery; this became public knowledge when he was arrested at Hollywood Burbank Airport
Burbank Airport
for possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana, and crack cocaine. He was ordered by a judge to attend a drug diversion program.[59] His drug addiction was highly publicized, most notably when Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
did a parody called "The West Wing",[60] though he did recover.[11] In 2002, Sorkin criticized NBC
NBC
news anchor Tom Brokaw's TV special about a day in the life of a president, "The Bush White House: Inside the Real West Wing", comparing it to the act of sending a valentine to President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
instead of real news reporting.[61] Sorkin's TV series The West Wing
The West Wing
aired on the same network, and so at the request of NBC's Entertainment President Jeff Zucker
Jeff Zucker
he apologized, but would later say "there should be a difference between what NBC News does and what The West Wing
The West Wing
TV series does."[62][63] Sorkin wrote 87 screenplays in all, which amounts to nearly every episode during the show's first four Emmy-winning seasons.[64] Sorkin describes his role in the creative process as "not so much [that of] a showrunner or a producer. I'm really a writer."[40] He admits that this approach can have its drawbacks, saying "Out of 88 [West Wing] episodes that I did we were on time and on budget never, not once."[22] In 2003, at the end of the fourth season, Sorkin and fellow executive producer Thomas Schlamme left the show due to internal conflicts at Warner Bros. Television
Warner Bros. Television
not involving the NBC
NBC
network, thrusting producer John Wells into an expanded role as showrunner.[65][66] Sorkin never watched any episodes beyond his writing tenure apart from 60 seconds of the fifth season's first episode, describing the experience as "like watching somebody make out with my girlfriend."[67] Sorkin would later return in the series finale for a cameo appearance as a member of President Bartlet's staff. Sorkin appeared as himself on the 30 Rock
30 Rock
episode "Plan B", where he did a "walk and talk" with Liz Lemon
Liz Lemon
played by Tina Fey. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
(2006–2007)[edit] Main article: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip In 2003, Sorkin divulged to the American television interviewer Charlie Rose
Charlie Rose
on The Charlie Rose
Charlie Rose
Show that he was developing a TV series based on a late-night sketch comedy show like Saturday Night Live.[22][68] In early October 2005, a pilot script dubbed Studio 7 on the Sunset Strip for a new television series, written by him and with Tommy Schlamme attached as producer, started circulating around Hollywood and generating interest on the web. A week later, NBC
NBC
bought from Warner Bros. Television
Warner Bros. Television
the right to show the television series on their network for a near-record license fee in a bidding war with CBS.[69] The show's name was later changed to Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Sorkin described the show as having "autobiographical elements" to it and "characters that are based on actual people" but said that it departs from those beginnings to look at the backstage maneuverings at a late night sketch comedy show.[70] On September 18, 2006, the pilot for Studio 60 aired on NBC, directed by Schlamme. The pilot was critically acclaimed and viewed by over 12 million people, but Studio 60 experienced a significant drop in audience by mid-season. The seething anticipation that preceded the début was followed up by a large amount of thoughtful and scrupulous criticism in the press, as well as largely negative analysis in the blogosphere.[71] In January 2007, Sorkin spoke out against the press for focusing too heavily on the ratings slide and for using blogs and unemployed comedy writers as sources.[72] After two months on hiatus, Studio 60 resumed to air the last episodes of season one, which would be its only season. Other works[edit] Theatre[edit] Main article: The Farnsworth Invention

Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
discussing his play The Farnsworth Invention
The Farnsworth Invention
with an audience at the Music Box Theatre
Music Box Theatre
on November 8, 2007.

Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
interviewed William Goldman
William Goldman
in November 2008 at the Screenwriting Expo.

In 2003, Sorkin was writing a screenplay on spec about the story of inventor and television pioneer Philo Farnsworth, a topic he had first become familiar with back in the early 1990s when producer Fred Zollo approached him with the idea of adapting a memoir by Elma Farnsworth into a biopic.[11][73] The next year he completed the screenplay under the title "The Farnsworth Invention", and it was picked up by New Line Cinema with Thomas Schlamme signed on to direct. The story is about the patent battle between inventor Philo Farnsworth
Philo Farnsworth
and RCA tycoon David Sarnoff
David Sarnoff
for the technology that allowed the first television transmissions in the United States.[74] At the same time, Sorkin was contacted by Jocelyn Clarke, the commissions manager of the Abbey Theatre
Abbey Theatre
in Dublin, requesting he write a play for them, a commission which he accepted.[75] In time Sorkin decided to tackle his commission by rewriting "The Farnsworth Invention" as a play.[11][75] He delivered a first draft of the play to the Abbey Theatre
Abbey Theatre
in early 2005, and a production was purportedly planned for 2007 with La Jolla Playhouse
La Jolla Playhouse
in California deciding to stage a workshop production of the play in collaboration with the Abbey Theatre. But in 2006, the Abbey Theatre's new management pulled out of all involvement with The Farnsworth Invention.[75] Despite the setback, La Jolla Playhouse
La Jolla Playhouse
pushed on, with Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
lending his talents as producer.[76] The production opened under La Jolla's signature Page To Stage program which allowed Sorkin and director Des McAnuff to develop the play from show to show according to audience reactions and feedback; the play ran at La Jolla Playhouse
La Jolla Playhouse
from February 20, 2007 through March 25, 2007.[77][78] A production followed on Broadway, beginning in previews at the Music Box Theatre and scheduled to open on November 14, 2007; however, the play was delayed by the 2007 Broadway stagehand strike.[79][80] The Farnsworth Invention eventually opened at the Music Box Theatre
Music Box Theatre
on December 3, 2007 following the end of the strike; it closed on March 2, 2008.[81][82] In 2005, Sorkin revised his play A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
for a revival at the London West End theatre, the Haymarket. The play opened at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in the fall of the same year and was directed by David Esbjornson, with Rob Lowe
Rob Lowe
of The West Wing
The West Wing
in the lead role.[83] Film[edit] Main articles: Charlie Wilson's War (film), The Social Network, Moneyball
Moneyball
(film), Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
(film), and Molly's Game Sorkin's return to film occurred when he was commissioned by Universal Pictures to adapt 60 Minutes
60 Minutes
producer George Crile's nonfiction book Charlie Wilson's War for Tom Hanks' production company Playtone.[84] Charlie Wilson's War is about the colorful Texas congressman Charlie Wilson who funded the CIA's secret war against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan.[85] Sorkin completed the screenplay and the film was released in 2007 starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts
and Philip Seymour Hoffman, directed by Mike Nichols.[86] In August 2008, Sorkin announced that he had agreed to write a script for Sony and producer Scott Rudin about how Facebook
Facebook
was founded.[87] The film, The Social Network, based on Ben Mezrich's novel The Accidental Billionaires, was released on October 1, 2010. Sorkin won the Academy, BAFTA and Golden Globe Awards for The Social Network. One year later, Sorkin received nominations for the same awards for co-writing the screenplay to the film Moneyball. In May 2012, Sony announced that Sorkin would write a movie based on Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs.[88] Sorkin was a guest at the D10 conference in May 2012 and explained his thoughts at the time on the adaptation of Isaacson's biography:

To be honest, one of the hesitations I had in taking on the movie is that it was a little like writing about the Beatles—that there are so many people out there who know so much about him and who revere him that I just saw a minefield of disappointment. Frankly, that I was going to do something and that people who ... hopefully, when I'm done with my research, I'll be in the same ball park of knowledge about Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
that so many people in this room are.[89]

Steve Jobs, written by Sorkin, directed by Danny Boyle, and starring Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender
as Jobs, was released in October 2015. On January 10, 2016, Sorkin won the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay for his work on this film.[90] Sorkin made his directorial debut with STX Entertainment's film Molly's Game, based on poker entrepreneur Molly Bloom's memoir. He also wrote the script for the film, which stars Jessica Chastain
Jessica Chastain
and Idris Elba.[91][92][93][94] Production began in November 2016, and the film was released in December 2017.[95] Television[edit] Main article: The Newsroom (U.S. TV series) It was announced in 2011 Sorkin would be returning to television with two HBO
HBO
projects. He has teamed with The Office star John Krasinski
John Krasinski
to develop a miniseries about the Chateau Marmont Hotel
Chateau Marmont Hotel
based on Life at the Marmont, a book by the hotel's co-owner Raymond R. Sarlot and Fred Basten.[96] He also developed The Newsroom, a series about a fictional cable news network. The series lasted three seasons, premiering on June 24, 2012, and concluding on December 14, 2014.[97][98][99][100] Prospective projects[edit] In March 2007, it was reported that Sorkin had signed on to write a musical adaptation of the hit 2002 record Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by psychedelic-rock band The Flaming Lips, collaborating with director Des McAnuff who had been developing the project.[101][102][103] On July 12, 2007, Variety reported that Sorkin had signed a deal with DreamWorks
DreamWorks
to write three scripts. The first script is titled The Trial of the Chicago 7, which Sorkin was already developing with Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
and producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald.[104] In March 2010, Sorkin's agent, Ari Emanuel, was reported as saying that the project was proving "tough to get together".[105] However, in late July 2013, it was announced that Academy Award
Academy Award
nominated director Paul Greengrass
Paul Greengrass
was in final talks to direct Sorkin's script and that Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
had previously been attached.[106] In August 2008, Des McAnuff announced that Sorkin had been commissioned by the Stratford Shakespeare Festival[107] to write an adaptation of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard. In 2010, Sorkin reportedly obtained the film rights to Andrew Young's book The Politician (about Senator John Edwards), and announced that he would make his debut as a film director while also adapting the book for the screen.[108] In November 2010, it was reported that Sorkin would be writing a musical based on the life of Houdini, with music by Danny Elfman.[109] In January 2012, Stephen Schwartz was reported to be writing the music and lyrics, with Sorkin making his debut as a librettist. The musical was expected to come out in 2013–14, with Sorkin saying "The chance to collaborate with Stephen Schwartz, (the director) Jack O'Brien, and Hugh Jackman on a new Broadway musical is a huge gift."[110] In January 2013, he dropped out of the project, citing film and TV commitments.[111] In September 2015, it was reported that Sorkin is writing a biopic that will focus on the twenty year marriage of Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball
and Desi Arnaz and their work together on I Love Lucy
I Love Lucy
and The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour. Academy Award
Academy Award
winner Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett
is set to star as Ball, while the role of Arnaz is yet to be determined.[112] Two years later, Amazon Studios
Amazon Studios
acquired the rights to the film.[113] In February 2016, it was revealed that Sorkin will be adapting To Kill a Mockingbird for the stage, where he will be working alongside Bartlett Sher.[114] In March 2016, it was announced that Sorkin would be adapting A Few Good Men for a live production on NBC, slated to air in 2018.[115] In August 2016, Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
launched a series of online screenwriting lessons through MasterClass. His lessons include dialogue, character development, story pacing, plot and his process of working. Students watch 35 short videos, download a PDF workbook, and share their observations and progress through discussion boards and social media groups.[116] Writing
Writing
process and style[edit] Sorkin has written for the theatre, film and television, and in each medium his level of collaboration with other creators has varied. He began in theatre which involved a largely solitary writing process, then moved into film where he collaborated with director Rob Reiner and screenwriter William Goldman, and eventually worked in television where he collaborated very closely with director Thomas Schlamme for nearly a decade on the shows Sports Night, The West Wing
The West Wing
and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip; he now moves between all three media. He has a habit of chain smoking while he spends countless hours cooped up in his office plotting out his next scripts.[5] He describes his writing process as physical because he will often stand up and speak the dialogue he is developing.[72]

"For me, the writing experience is very much like a date. It's not unusual that I'm really funny here and really smart here and maybe showing some anger over here so she sees maybe I have this dark side. I want it to have been worth it for everyone to sit through it for however long I ask them to."

—Aaron Sorkin, on his writing as characterized by mentor William Goldman.[2]

A New York Times article by Peter De Jonge explained that "The West Wing is never plotted out for more than a few weeks ahead and has no major story lines", which De Jonge believed was because "with characters who have no flaws, it is impossible to give them significant arcs".[6] Sorkin has stated: "I seldom plan ahead, not because I don't think it's good to plan ahead, there just isn't time."[52] Sorkin has also said, "As a writer, I don't like to answer questions until the very moment that I have to." The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's TV critic John Levesque has commented that Sorkin's writing process "can make for ill-advised plot developments".[2] Further complicating the matter, in television, Sorkin will have a hand in writing every episode, rarely letting other writers earn full credit on a script.[6] Peter De Jonge has reported that ex-writers of The West Wing
The West Wing
have claimed that "even by the spotlight-hogging standards of Hollywood, Sorkin has been exceptionally ungenerous in his sharing of writing credit".[6] In a comment to GQ magazine in 2008, Sorkin said, "I'm helped by a staff of people who have great ideas, but the scripts aren't written by committee."[117]

"You almost never see how anyone travels from point A to point C [in most TV shows]. I wanted the audience to witness every journey these people took. It all had a purpose, even seeing them order lunch. It just seemed to be the proper visual rhythm with which to marry Aaron's words. I got lucky that it worked."

—Thomas Schlamme, on the "Walk and Talk" device.[64]

Sorkin's nearly decade-long collaboration in television with director Thomas Schlamme began in early 1998 when they found they shared common creative ground on the soon to be produced Sports Night.[40][118] Their successful partnership in television is one in which Sorkin focuses on writing the scripts while Schlamme executive produces and occasionally directs; they have worked together on Sports Night, The West Wing, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Schlamme will create the look of the shows, work with the other directors, discuss the scripts with Sorkin as soon as they are turned in, make design and casting decisions, and attend the budget meetings; Sorkin tends to stick strictly to writing.[40] In response to what he perceived as unfair criticism of The Newsroom, Jacob Drum of Digital Americana wrote, "The essential truth that the critics miss is that The Newsroom is Sorkin being Sorkin as he always has been and always will be: one part pioneer; one part self-conscious romantic; two parts actual Lewis & Clark-style pioneer, trapping his way across an old, old idea of an America that can always stand to raise its game—but most importantly, spinning a good yarn while he does so."[119]

"[T]he trick is to follow the rules of classic storytelling. Drama is basically about one thing: Somebody wants something, and something or someone is standing in the way of him getting it. What he wants—the money, the girl, the ticket to Philadelphia—doesn't really matter. But whatever it is, the audience has to want it for him."

—Aaron Sorkin[120]

Sorkin is known for writing memorable lines and fast-paced dialogue, such as "You can't handle the truth!" from A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
and the partly Latin tirade against God in The West Wing
The West Wing
episode "Two Cathedrals".[6] For television, one hallmark of Sorkin's writer's voice is the repartee that his characters engage in as they small talk and banter about whimsical events taking place within an episode, and interject obscure popular culture references into conversation.[121] Although his scripts are lauded for being literate,[6][13][122] Sorkin has been criticized for often turning in scripts that are overwrought.[123] His mentor William Goldman
William Goldman
has commented that normally in visual media speeches are avoided, but that Sorkin has a talent for dialogue and gets away with breaking this rule.[33] Personal life[edit]

Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
speaking at a Generation Obama event, following a screening of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, on August 20, 2008.

Sorkin married Julia Bingham in 1996 and divorced in 2005, with his workaholic habits and drug abuse reported to be a partial cause.[124][125] Sorkin and Bingham have one daughter, Roxy.[126] Sorkin was a dependent cocaine user for many years and, after a highly publicized arrest in 2001, he received treatment in a drug diversion program.[11] For several years, he dated Kristin Chenoweth, who played Annabeth Schott on The West Wing
The West Wing
(though after Sorkin had left the show).[127] He has also reportedly dated columnist Maureen Dowd[128] and actress Kristin Davis.[129] A consistent supporter of the Democratic Party, Sorkin has made substantial political campaign contributions to candidates between 1999 and 2011, according to CampaignMoney.com.[130] During the 2004 US presidential election campaign, the liberal advocacy group MoveOn's political action committee enlisted Sorkin and Rob Reiner
Rob Reiner
to create one of their anti-Bush campaign advertisements.[131] In August 2008, Sorkin was involved in a Generation Obama event at the Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills, California, participating in a panel discussion subsequent to a screening of Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.[132] Despite this Sorkin does not consider himself a political activist "I've met political activists, and they're for real. I've never marched anyplace or done anything that takes more effort than writing a check in terms of activism".[67] In 1987, Sorkin started using marijuana and cocaine. He has said that in cocaine he found a drug that gave him relief from certain nervous tensions he deals with on a regular basis.[6] In 1995, he checked into rehab at the Hazelden Institute in Minnesota, on the advice of his then girlfriend and soon to be wife Julia Bingham, to try to beat his addiction to cocaine.[133] In 2001, Sorkin along with colleagues John Spencer and Martin Sheen
Martin Sheen
received the Phoenix Rising Award for their personal victories over substance abuse. However, two months later on April 15, 2001, Sorkin was arrested when guards at a security checkpoint at the Burbank Airport
Burbank Airport
found hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana, and crack cocaine in his carry-on bag when a metal crack pipe set off the gate's metal detector.[6][134] He was ordered to a drug diversion program.[59] Sorkin continued working on The West Wing
The West Wing
amidst his drug abuse.[124][125] In his commencement speech for Syracuse University
Syracuse University
on May 13, 2012, Sorkin declared that he had not used cocaine for eleven years.[135] In 2016, after the election of Donald Trump, Sorkin wrote an open letter to his 15-year-old daughter Roxy and her mother Julia Sorkin.[136] Filmography[edit] Films[edit]

Year Title Notes

1992 A Few Good Men

1993 Malice With Scott Frank

1995 The American President

1996 The Rock Uncredited

1998 Bulworth Uncredited

2007 Charlie Wilson's War Based on the book by George Crile

2010 The Social Network Based on the book The Accidental Billionaires
The Accidental Billionaires
by Ben Mezrich

2011 Moneyball With Steven Zaillian from a story by Stan Chervin, based on the book by Michael Lewis

2015 Steve Jobs Based on the book by Walter Isaacson

2017 Molly's Game Directorial debut; Based on the memoir by Molly Bloom

Television[edit] Sorkin was the creator, writer and executive producer of the following shows.

Year Title

1998–2000 Sports Night

1999–2006 The West Wing

2006–2007 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

2012–2014 The Newsroom

Plays[edit]

Year Title Credit Venue

1984 Removing All Doubt Writer Syracuse University

1988 Hidden in This Picture[137] Writer West Bank Cafe Downstairs Theatre Bar

1989 A Few Good Men[138] Writer Music Box Theatre

1990 Making Movies[20] Writer Promenade Theatre

2007 The Farnsworth Invention[77] Writer La Jolla Playhouse

Cameo acting appearances[edit]

Year Title Role Notes

1992 A Few Good Men Man in bar

1995 The American President Aide in bar

1999 Sports Night Man at bar Episode: "Small Town"

2006 The West Wing Man in crowd Episode: "Tomorrow"

2009–10 Entourage Himself Two episodes

2010 The Social Network Ad Executive

2011 30 Rock Himself Episode: "Plan B"

2017 Molly's Game Man in bar

Accolades[edit] Academy Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result

2010 The Social Network Best Adapted Screenplay Won

2011 Moneyball Nominated

2018 Molly's Game Nominated

British Academy Film Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result

2010 The Social Network Best Adapted Screenplay Won

2011 Moneyball Nominated

2015 Steve Jobs Nominated

2017 Molly's Game Nominated

Critics' Choice Movie Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result

2007 Charlie Wilson's War Best Writer Nominated

2010 The Social Network Best Adapted Screenplay Won

2011 Moneyball Won

2015 Steve Jobs Nominated

2017 Molly's Game Nominated

Golden Globe Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.

1992 A Few Good Men Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay - Motion Picture Nominated

1995 The American President Nominated

2007 Charlie Wilson's War Nominated

2010 The Social Network Won

2011 Moneyball Nominated

2015 Steve Jobs Won

2017 Molly's Game Nominated [139][140]

Primetime Emmy Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result

1999 Sports Night Outstanding Writing
Writing
for a Comedy Series ("The Apology") Nominated

2000 The West Wing Outstanding Drama Series Won

Outstanding Writing
Writing
for a Drama Series ("In Excelsis Deo" & "Pilot") Won

2001 The West Wing Outstanding Drama Series Won

Outstanding Writing
Writing
for a Drama Series ("In the Shadow of Two Gunmen") Nominated

2002 The West Wing Outstanding Drama Series Won

Outstanding Writing
Writing
for a Drama Series ("Posse Comitatus") Nominated

2003 The West Wing Outstanding Drama Series Won

Outstanding Writing
Writing
for a Drama Series ("Twenty Five") Nominated

Satellite Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result

2010 The Social Network Best Screenplay - Adapted Won

2011 Moneyball Nominated

2015 Steve Jobs Won

2017 Molly's Game Nominated

Writers Guild of America Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result

1995 The American President Best Original Screenplay Nominated

2000 The West Wing Episodic Drama ("In Excelsis Deo") Won

Episodic Drama ("Take This Sabbath Day") Nominated

2001 The West Wing Episodic Drama ("Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail" & "Two Cathedrals") Nominated

2002 The West Wing Episodic Drama ("Game On") Nominated

2005 The West Wing Dramatic Series Nominated

2006 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip New Series Nominated

Episodic Drama ("Pilot") Nominated

2010 The Social Network Best Adapted Screenplay Won

2011 Moneyball Nominated

2012 The Newsroom New Series Nominated

2015 Steve Jobs Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated

2017 Molly's Game Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated

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Feel So Guilty?". GQ. Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved September 26, 2008.  ^ Elif Cercel (November 11, 1999). "Interview with Thomas Schlamme, Director and Executive Producer, "Sports Night"". Directors World. Archived from the original on June 26, 2007. Retrieved January 21, 2007.  ^ "The Digital Americana Wall". thedigitalamericana.com. Retrieved October 16, 2016.  ^ Christine Canabou; Pamela Kruger; Cathy Olofson (May 2001). "What's on Your Agenda?: Ten senior executives and thinkers explain the most crucial item on their leadership agenda". Fast Company. Retrieved October 2, 2008.  ^ "West Wing votes in new writers". BBC News Online. July 25, 2003. Archived from the original on December 11, 2006. Retrieved January 25, 2007.  ^ James Berardinelli (1993). "Malice: A Film Review". Reelviews.net. Archived from the original on February 20, 2007. Retrieved January 10, 2007.  ^ Linda Holmes (November 26, 2006). "'Studio 60' doesn't take comedy seriously: Show's flailing by focusing on issues, not craziness of the writers' room". mbnbc.com. Archived from the original on January 24, 2007. Retrieved January 25, 2007.  ^ a b Jay Rayner (July 10, 2005). "Wing and a prayer". The Guardian. London. Retrieved February 19, 2009.  ^ a b Andrew Gumbel (October 22, 2005). "After the West Wing..." The Independent. London. Retrieved February 19, 2009.  ^ Bromley, Melanie; Malkin, Marc (May 23, 2012). "Sources: Kristin Davis Dating Oscar-Winning Writer Aaron Sorkin".  ^ Kristin Chenoweth
Kristin Chenoweth
(2009). A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-8055-3.  ^ Howard Kurtz (November 5, 2005). "Sex & the Single Stiletto". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 25, 2008.  ^ Chen, Joyce (June 21, 2012). "Kristin Davis, Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
kiss on red carpet, glow with love as they confirm romance". Daily News. New York.  ^ " Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
Biography and Political Campaign Contributions". CampaignMoney.com. Archived from the original on February 3, 2007. Retrieved January 29, 2007.  ^ Matthew Cooper (July 3, 2004). "I'm Rob Reiner, and I Approve this Message". Time. Retrieved January 29, 2007.  ^ Ted Johnson (August 28, 2008). "Obama's fresh Hollywood faces: Hollywood team: Vitality and donations". Variety. Retrieved September 15, 2008.  ^ Jay Rayner (July 31, 2005). "West Wing creator brings his play to West End". The Guardian. London. Retrieved January 14, 2007.  ^ Michael Cieply (September 2001). "The Crack-Up". Talk magazine.  ^ Syracuse (May 14, 2012). "Aaron Sorkin's Commencement Speech - 13 May 2012" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved July 15, 2013.  ^ Sorkin, Aaron. "Read the Letter Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
Wrote His Daughter After Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Was Elected President".  ^ Mel Gussow (August 24, 1988). "Review/Theater; Three Plays on Desire". The New York Times. Retrieved January 12, 2007.  ^ Frank Rich
Frank Rich
(November 16, 1989). "Review/Theater; Honor, Bullying and Conformity in the Trial in 'A Few Good Men'". The New York Times. Retrieved January 12, 2007.  ^ Shanley, Patrick (January 8, 2018). "Golden Globes: Martin McDonagh Wins Best Screenplay for 'Three Billboards'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 8, 2018.  ^ Ehrlich, David (January 8, 2018). "'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' Writer Martin McDonagh
Martin McDonagh
Wins Golden Globe for Best Screenplay". Indie Wire. Retrieved January 8, 2018. 

Further reading[edit]

Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(July 2002). The West Wing
The West Wing
Script Book. Newmarket Press. ISBN 978-1-55704-549-2.  Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(February 2004). The West Wing
The West Wing
Seasons 3 & 4: The Shooting Scripts: Eight Teleplays. Newmarket Press. ISBN 978-1-55704-612-3.  "Interview with Aaron Sorkin" (PDF). On Writing
Writing
Magazine, Issue 18. The Writers Guild of America, East, Inc. February 2003. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 28, 2007. Retrieved January 10, 2007.  Aaron Sorkin. "Early draft of the Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
pilot script". Archived from the original on October 24, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2007.  Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
and Rob Reiner
Rob Reiner
(2001). From Stage to Screen with Aaron Sorkin and Rob Reiner, A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
( Special
Special
Edition DVD) (Documentary).  Aaron Barnhart (January 21, 2007). "Aaron Sorkin, in his own words". TV Barn (Podcast). Archived from the original on 21 February 2007. 

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Aaron Sorkin

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aaron Sorkin.

Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
on IMDb Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
at Moviefone Aaron Sorkin
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at Rotten Tomatoes Blog Entries by Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
at The Huffington Post Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
on Charlie Rose " Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
collected news and commentary". The Guardian.  " Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
collected news and commentary". The New York Times.  Works by or about Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
in libraries ( WorldCat
WorldCat
catalog)

v t e

Works by Aaron Sorkin

Television series

Sports Night
Sports Night
(1998–2000) The West Wing
The West Wing
(1999–2006) Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
(2006–07) The Newsroom (2012–14)

Feature films

A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
(1992) Malice (1993) The American President
The American President
(1995) Charlie Wilson's War (2007) The Social Network
The Social Network
(2010) Moneyball
Moneyball
(2011) Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
(2015) Molly's Game
Molly's Game
(2017)

Stage plays

Hidden in This Picture (1988) A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
(1989) The Farnsworth Invention
The Farnsworth Invention
(2007)

Awards for Aaron Sorkin

v t e

Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Adapted Screenplay

1928–1950

Benjamin Glazer (1928) Hanns Kräly (1929) Frances Marion
Frances Marion
(1930) Howard Estabrook
Howard Estabrook
(1931) Edwin J. Burke (1932) Victor Heerman
Victor Heerman
and Sarah Y. Mason
Sarah Y. Mason
(1933) Robert Riskin
Robert Riskin
(1934) Dudley Nichols (1935) Pierre Collings
Pierre Collings
and Sheridan Gibney (1936) Heinz Herald, Geza Herczeg, and Norman Reilly Raine
Norman Reilly Raine
(1937) Ian Dalrymple, Cecil Arthur Lewis, W. P. Lipscomb, and George Bernard Shaw (1938) Sidney Howard
Sidney Howard
(1939) Donald Ogden Stewart
Donald Ogden Stewart
(1940) Sidney Buchman and Seton I. Miller (1941) George Froeschel, James Hilton, Claudine West, and Arthur Wimperis (1942) Philip G. Epstein, Julius J. Epstein, and Howard E. Koch (1943) Frank Butler, and Frank Cavett (1944) Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
(1945) Robert Sherwood (1946) George Seaton
George Seaton
(1947) John Huston
John Huston
(1948) Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
(1949) Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
(1950)

1951–1975

Harry Brown and Michael Wilson (1951) Charles Schnee (1952) Daniel Taradash (1953) George Seaton
George Seaton
(1954) Paddy Chayefsky
Paddy Chayefsky
(1955) John Farrow, S. J. Perelman, and James Poe (1956) Carl Foreman
Carl Foreman
and Michael Wilson (1957) Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner
(1958) Neil Paterson (1959) Richard Brooks
Richard Brooks
(1960) Abby Mann (1961) Horton Foote (1962) John Osborne
John Osborne
(1963) Edward Anhalt (1964) Robert Bolt (1965) Robert Bolt (1966) Stirling Silliphant (1967) James Goldman (1968) Waldo Salt (1969) Ring Lardner Jr.
Ring Lardner Jr.
(1970) Ernest Tidyman (1971) Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
and Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo
(1972) William Peter Blatty
William Peter Blatty
(1973) Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
and Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo
(1974) Bo Goldman
Bo Goldman
and Lawrence Hauben (1975)

1976–2000

William Goldman
William Goldman
(1976) Alvin Sargent (1977) Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
(1978) Robert Benton (1979) Alvin Sargent (1980) Ernest Thompson
Ernest Thompson
(1981) Costa-Gavras
Costa-Gavras
and Donald E. Stewart (1982) James L. Brooks
James L. Brooks
(1983) Peter Shaffer (1984) Kurt Luedtke (1985) Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
(1986) Bernardo Bertolucci
Bernardo Bertolucci
and Mark Peploe (1987) Christopher Hampton
Christopher Hampton
(1988) Alfred Uhry
Alfred Uhry
(1989) Michael Blake (1990) Ted Tally (1991) Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
(1992) Steven Zaillian (1993) Eric Roth (1994) Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson
(1995) Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton
(1996) Curtis Hanson
Curtis Hanson
and Brian Helgeland (1997) Bill Condon (1998) John Irving
John Irving
(1999) Stephen Gaghan
Stephen Gaghan
(2000)

2001–present

Akiva Goldsman
Akiva Goldsman
(2001) Ronald Harwood (2002) Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, and Fran Walsh (2003) Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne
and Jim Taylor (2004) Larry McMurtry
Larry McMurtry
and Diana Ossana (2005) William Monahan
William Monahan
(2006) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (2007) Simon Beaufoy (2008) Geoffrey S. Fletcher
Geoffrey S. Fletcher
(2009) Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(2010) Alexander Payne, Jim Rash, and Nat Faxon
Nat Faxon
(2011) Chris Terrio (2012) John Ridley
John Ridley
(2013) Graham Moore (2014) Adam McKay
Adam McKay
and Charles Randolph (2015) Barry Jenkins
Barry Jenkins
and Tarell Alvin McCraney
Tarell Alvin McCraney
(2016) James Ivory
James Ivory
(2017)

v t e

BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
(1983) Bruce Robinson
Bruce Robinson
(1984) Richard Condon and Janet Roach (1985) Kurt Luedtke (1986) Claude Berri
Claude Berri
and Gérard Brach (1987) Jean-Claude Carrière
Jean-Claude Carrière
and Philip Kaufman
Philip Kaufman
(1988) Christopher Hampton
Christopher Hampton
(1989) Nicholas Pileggi
Nicholas Pileggi
and Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
(1990) Dick Clement, Roddy Doyle
Roddy Doyle
and Ian La Frenais (1991) Michael Tolkin
Michael Tolkin
(1992) Steven Zaillian (1993) Paul Attanasio
Paul Attanasio
(1994) John Hodge (1995) Anthony Minghella
Anthony Minghella
(1996) Baz Luhrmann
Baz Luhrmann
and Craig Pearce
Craig Pearce
(1997) Elaine May
Elaine May
(1998) Neil Jordan
Neil Jordan
(1999) Stephen Gaghan
Stephen Gaghan
(2000) Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Roger S. H. Schulman and Joe Stillman (2001) Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman
and Donald Kaufman (2002) Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson
and Fran Walsh (2003) Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne
and Jim Taylor (2004) Larry McMurtry
Larry McMurtry
and Diana Ossana (2005) Jeremy Brock and Peter Morgan (2006) Ronald Harwood (2007) Simon Beaufoy (2008) Jason Reitman
Jason Reitman
and Sheldon Turner (2009) Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(2010) Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan (2011) David O. Russell
David O. Russell
(2012) Steve Coogan
Steve Coogan
and Jeff Pope
Jeff Pope
(2013) Anthony McCarten (2014) Adam McKay
Adam McKay
and Charles Randolph (2015) Luke Davies
Luke Davies
(2016) James Ivory
James Ivory
(2017)

v t e

Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Screenplay

Screenplay (1995–1996, 2001–2008, retired)

Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson
(1995) Anthony Minghella
Anthony Minghella
(1996) Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan
(2001) Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman
(2002) Jim Sheridan, Kirsten Sheridan, and Naomi Sheridan (2003) Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne
and Jim Taylor (2004) Paul Haggis
Paul Haggis
and Bobby Moresco (2005) Michael Arndt
Michael Arndt
(2006) Diablo Cody
Diablo Cody
(2007) Simon Beaufoy (2008)

Screenplay, Original (1997–2000, 2009–present)

Matt Damon
Matt Damon
and Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck
(1997) Tom Stoppard
Tom Stoppard
and Marc Norman (1998) Alan Ball (1999) Cameron Crowe
Cameron Crowe
(2000) Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino
(2009) David Seidler (2010) Woody Allen
Woody Allen
(2011) Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino
(2012) Spike Jonze
Spike Jonze
(2013) Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., and Armando Bo (2014) Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (2015) Damien Chazelle
Damien Chazelle
/ Kenneth Lonergan
Kenneth Lonergan
(2016) Jordan Peele
Jordan Peele
(2017)

Screenplay, Adapted (1997–2000, 2009–present)

Curtis Hanson
Curtis Hanson
and Brian Helgeland (1997) Scott Smith (1998) Frank Darabont
Frank Darabont
(1999) Stephen Gaghan
Stephen Gaghan
(2000) Jason Reitman
Jason Reitman
and Sheldon Turner (2009) Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(2010) Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, and Stan Chervin (2011) Tony Kushner
Tony Kushner
(2012) John Ridley
John Ridley
(2013) Gillian Flynn
Gillian Flynn
(2014) Adam McKay
Adam McKay
and Charles Randolph (2015) Eric Heisserer (2016) James Ivory
James Ivory
(2017)

v t e

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing
Writing
for a Drama Series

1955–1975

Reginald Rose for Twelve Angry Men (1955) Rod Serling
Rod Serling
(1960) Rod Serling
Rod Serling
(1961) Reginald Rose (1962) Robert Thom / Reginald Rose for "The Madman" (1963) Ernest Kinoy for "Blacklist" and Rod Serling
Rod Serling
for "It's Mental Work" (1964) David Karp for "The 700 Year Old Gang" (1965) Millard Lampell for "Eagle in a Cage" (1966) Bruce Geller for "Mission: Impossible" (1967) Loring Mandel for "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" (1968) JP Miller
JP Miller
for "The People Next Door" (1969) Richard Levinson & William Link for "My Sweet Charlie" (1970) Joel Oliansky for "To Taste of Death But Once" (1971) Richard Levinson & William Link for "Death Lends a Hand" (1972) John McGreevey for "The Scholar" (1973) Joanna Lee for "The Thanksgiving Story" (1974) Howard Fast
Howard Fast
for "Benjamin Franklin: The Ambassador" (1975)

1976–2000

Sherman Yellen for "John Adams: Lawyer" (1976) William Blinn & Ernest Kinoy for "Show #2" (1977) Gerald Green for "Holocaust" (1978) Michele Gallery for "Dying" (1979) Seth Freeman for "Cop" (1980) Steven Bochco, Michael Kozoll for "Hill Street Station" (1981) Steven Bochco, Michael Kozoll, Jeff Lewis, Michael I. Wagner, Anthony Yerkovich for "Freedom's Last Stand" (1982) David Milch
David Milch
for "Trial by Fury" (1983) Tom Fontana, John Masius, John Ford Noonan for "The Women" (1984) Patricia Green for "Who Said It's Fair, Part 2" (1985) Tom Fontana, John Masius, Joe Tinker for "Time Heals, Parts I & II" (1986) Steven Bochco, Terry Louise Fisher for "The Venus Butterfly" (1987) Paul Haggis, Marshall Herskovitz
Marshall Herskovitz
for "Business as Usual" (1988) Joseph Dougherty for "First Day/Last Day" (1989) David E. Kelley
David E. Kelley
for "Blood, Sweat, and Fears" (1990) David E. Kelley
David E. Kelley
for "On the Toad Again" (1991) Diane Frolov / Andrew Schneider for "Seoul Mates" (1992) Tom Fontana for "Three Men and Adena" (1993) Ann Biderman for "Steroid Roy" (1994) Lance A. Gentile for "Love's Labor Lost" (1995) Darin Morgan
Darin Morgan
for "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" (1996) Stephen Gaghan
Stephen Gaghan
/ David Milch
David Milch
/ Michael R. Perry for "Where's Swaldo?" (1997) Bill Clark
Bill Clark
/ Nicholas Wootton
Nicholas Wootton
/ David Milch
David Milch
for "Lost Israel: Part II" (1998) David Chase
David Chase
/ James Manos Jr. for "College" (1999) Rick Cleveland & Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
for "In Excelsis Deo" (2000)

2001–present

Mitchell Burgess & Robin Green for "Employee of the Month" (2001) Robert Cochran / Joel Surnow for "12:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m." (2002) Mitchell Burgess & David Chase
David Chase
& Robin Green for "Whitecaps" (2003) Terence Winter
Terence Winter
for "Long Term Parking" (2004) David Shore
David Shore
for "Three Stories" (2005) Terence Winter
Terence Winter
for "Members Only" (2006) David Chase
David Chase
for "Made in America" (2007) Matthew Weiner
Matthew Weiner
for "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" (2008) Kater Gordon & Matthew Weiner
Matthew Weiner
for "Meditations in an Emergency" (2009) Erin Levy & Matthew Weiner
Matthew Weiner
for "Shut the Door. Have a Seat." (2010) Jason Katims
Jason Katims
for "Always" (2011) Alex Gansa
Alex Gansa
& Howard Gordon
Howard Gordon
& Gideon Raff
Gideon Raff
for "Pilot (Homeland)" (2012) Henry Bromell for "Q&A" (2013) Moira Walley-Beckett
Moira Walley-Beckett
for "Ozymandias" (2014) David Benioff
David Benioff
& D. B. Weiss
D. B. Weiss
for "Mother's Mercy" (2015) David Benioff
David Benioff
& D. B. Weiss
D. B. Weiss
for "Battle of the Bastards" (2016) Bruce Miller for "Offred" (2017)

v t e

Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
for Best Screenplay

Robert Bolt (1965) Robert Bolt (1966) Stirling Silliphant (1967) Stirling Silliphant (1968) Bridget Boland, John Hale and Richard Sokolove (1969) Erich Segal
Erich Segal
(1970) Paddy Chayefsky
Paddy Chayefsky
(1971) Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
and Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo
(1972) William Peter Blatty
William Peter Blatty
(1973) Robert Towne
Robert Towne
(1974) Bo Goldman
Bo Goldman
and Lawrence Hauben (1975) Paddy Chayefsky
Paddy Chayefsky
(1976) Neil Simon
Neil Simon
(1977) Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
(1978) Robert Benton (1979) William Peter Blatty
William Peter Blatty
(1980) Ernest Thompson
Ernest Thompson
(1981) John Briley (1982) James L. Brooks
James L. Brooks
(1983) Peter Shaffer (1984) Woody Allen
Woody Allen
(1985) Robert Bolt (1986) Bernardo Bertolucci, Mark Peploe and Enzon Ungari (1987) Naomi Foner (1988) Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
and Ron Kovic
Ron Kovic
(1989) Michael Blake (1990) Callie Khouri
Callie Khouri
(1991) Bo Goldman
Bo Goldman
(1992) Steven Zaillian (1993) Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino
(1994) Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson
(1995) Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (1996) Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck
and Matt Damon
Matt Damon
(1997) Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard
Tom Stoppard
(1998) Alan Ball (1999) Stephen Gaghan
Stephen Gaghan
(2000) Akiva Goldsman
Akiva Goldsman
(2001) Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne
and Jim Taylor (2002) Sofia Coppola
Sofia Coppola
(2003) Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne
and Jim Taylor (2004) Larry McMurtry
Larry McMurtry
and Diana Ossana (2005) Peter Morgan (2006) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (2007) Simon Beaufoy (2008) Jason Reitman
Jason Reitman
and Sheldon Turner (2009) Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(2010) Woody Allen
Woody Allen
(2011) Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino
(2012) Spike Jonze
Spike Jonze
(2013) Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., and Armando Bo (2014) Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(2015) Damien Chazelle
Damien Chazelle
(2016) Martin McDonagh
Martin McDonagh
(2017)

v t e

London Film Critics' Circle Award for Screenwriter of the Year

Steve Tesich
Steve Tesich
(1980) Colin Welland (1981) Costa-Gavras
Costa-Gavras
and Donald E. Stewart (1982) Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
(1983) Philip Kaufman
Philip Kaufman
(1984) Alan Bennett
Alan Bennett
(1985) Woody Allen
Woody Allen
(1986) Alan Bennett
Alan Bennett
(1987) David Mamet
David Mamet
(1988) Christopher Hampton
Christopher Hampton
(1989) Woody Allen
Woody Allen
(1990) David Mamet
David Mamet
(1991) Michael Tolkin
Michael Tolkin
(1992) Harold Ramis
Harold Ramis
and Danny Rubin
Danny Rubin
(1993) Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino
(1994) Paul Attanasio
Paul Attanasio
(1995) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (1996) Curtis Hanson
Curtis Hanson
and Brian Helgeland (1997) Andrew Niccol
Andrew Niccol
(1998) Alan Ball (1999) Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman
(2000) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (2001) Andrew Bovell (2002) John Collee
John Collee
and Peter Weir
Peter Weir
(2003) Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman
(2004) Paul Haggis
Paul Haggis
and Bobby Moresco (2005) Peter Morgan (2006) Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
(2007) Simon Beaufoy (2008) Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, and Tony Roche (2009) Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(2010) Asghar Farhadi
Asghar Farhadi
(2011) Michael Haneke
Michael Haneke
(2012) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (2013) Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson
(2014) Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (2015) Kenneth Lonergan
Kenneth Lonergan
(2016) Martin McDonagh
Martin McDonagh
(2017)

v t e

National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay

1967–2000

David Newman and Robert Benton (1967) John Cassavetes
John Cassavetes
(1968) Paul Mazursky
Paul Mazursky
and Larry Tucker (1969) Éric Rohmer
Éric Rohmer
(1970) Penelope Gilliatt (1971) Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman
(1972) George Lucas, Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck (1973) Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman
(1974) Robert Towne
Robert Towne
and Warren Beatty
Warren Beatty
(1975) Alain Tanner
Alain Tanner
and John Berger
John Berger
(1976) Woody Allen
Woody Allen
and Marshall Brickman (1977) Paul Mazursky
Paul Mazursky
(1978) Steve Tesich
Steve Tesich
(1979) Bo Goldman
Bo Goldman
(1980) John Guare
John Guare
(1981) Murray Schisgal and Larry Gelbart
Larry Gelbart
(1982) Bill Forsyth
Bill Forsyth
(1983) Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel and Bruce Jay Friedman (1984) Albert Brooks
Albert Brooks
and Monica Johnson (1985) Hanif Kureishi
Hanif Kureishi
(1986) John Boorman
John Boorman
(1987) Ron Shelton (1988) Gus Van Sant
Gus Van Sant
and Daniel Yost (1989) Charles Burnett (1990) David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg
(1991) David Webb Peoples (1992) Jane Campion
Jane Campion
(1993) Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino
and Roger Avary
Roger Avary
(1994) Amy Heckerling (1995) Albert Brooks
Albert Brooks
and Monica Johnson (1996) Curtis Hanson
Curtis Hanson
and Brian Helgeland (1997) Scott Frank (1998) Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman
(1999) Kenneth Lonergan
Kenneth Lonergan
(2000)

2001–present

Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes
(2001) Ronald Harwood (2002) Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini
Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini
(2003) Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne
and Jim Taylor (2004) Noah Baumbach
Noah Baumbach
(2005) Peter Morgan (2006) Tamara Jenkins
Tamara Jenkins
(2007) Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh
(2008) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (2009) Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(2010) Asghar Farhadi
Asghar Farhadi
(2011) Tony Kushner
Tony Kushner
(2012) Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy
Julie Delpy
(2013) Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson
(2014) Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (2015) Kenneth Lonergan
Kenneth Lonergan
(2016) Greta Gerwig
Greta Gerwig
(2017)

v t e

Satellite Award for Best Adapted Screenplay

Anthony Minghella
Anthony Minghella
(1996) Curtis Hanson
Curtis Hanson
and Brian Helgeland (1997) Bill Condon (1998) John Irving
John Irving
(1999) Doug Wright (2000) Robert Festinger and Todd Field
Todd Field
(2001) Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman
and Donald Kaufman (2002) Brian Helgeland (2003) Paul Haggis
Paul Haggis
(2004) Robin Swicord (2005) William Monahan
William Monahan
(2006) Christopher Hampton
Christopher Hampton
(2007) Peter Morgan (2008) Geoffrey S. Fletcher
Geoffrey S. Fletcher
(2009) Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(2010) Alexander Payne, Jim Rash, and Nat Faxon
Nat Faxon
(2011) David Magee (2012) Steve Coogan
Steve Coogan
and Jeff Pope
Jeff Pope
(2013) Graham Moore (2014) Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(2015) Kieran Fitzgerald and Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
(2016) Scott Neustadter
Scott Neustadter
and Michael H. Weber (2017)

v t e

Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay

Adapted Drama (1969–1983, retired)

Waldo Salt (1969) Robert Anderson (1970) Ernest Tidyman (1971) Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
and Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo
(1972) Waldo Salt and Norman Wexler (1973) Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
and Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo
(1974) Bo Goldman
Bo Goldman
and Lawrence Hauben (1975) William Goldman
William Goldman
(1976) Denne Bart Petitclerc
Denne Bart Petitclerc
(1977) Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
(1978) Robert Benton (1979) Alvin Sargent (1980) Ernest Thompson
Ernest Thompson
(1981) Costa-Gavras
Costa-Gavras
and Donald E. Stewart (1982) Julius J. Epstein (1983)

Adapted Comedy (1969–1983, retired)

Arnold Schulman (1969) Ring Lardner Jr.
Ring Lardner Jr.
(1970) John Paxton (1971) Jay Presson Allen
Jay Presson Allen
(1972) Alvin Sargent (1973) Lionel Chetwynd and Mordecai Richler
Mordecai Richler
(1974) Neil Simon
Neil Simon
(1975) Blake Edwards
Blake Edwards
and Frank Waldman (1976) Larry Gelbart
Larry Gelbart
(1977) Elaine May
Elaine May
and Warren Beatty
Warren Beatty
/ Bernard Slade (1978) Jerzy Kosiński
Jerzy Kosiński
(1979) Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker
Jerry Zucker
(1980) Gerard Ayres (1981) Blake Edwards
Blake Edwards
(1982) James L. Brooks
James L. Brooks
(1983)

Adapted Screenplay (1984–present)

Bruce Robinson
Bruce Robinson
(1984) Richard Condon and Janet Roach (1985) Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
(1986) Steve Martin
Steve Martin
(1987) Christopher Hampton
Christopher Hampton
(1988) Alfred Uhry
Alfred Uhry
(1989) Michael Blake (1990) Ted Tally (1991) Michael Tolkin
Michael Tolkin
(1992) Steven Zaillian (1993) Eric Roth (1994) Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson
(1995) Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton
(1996) Curtis Hanson
Curtis Hanson
and Brian Helgeland (1997) Scott Frank (1998) Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne
and Jim Taylor (1999) Stephen Gaghan
Stephen Gaghan
(2000) Akiva Goldsman
Akiva Goldsman
(2001) David Hare (2002) Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini
Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini
(2003) Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne
and Jim Taylor (2004) Larry McMurtry
Larry McMurtry
and Diana Ossana (2005) William Monahan
William Monahan
(2006) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (2007) Simon Beaufoy (2008) Jason Reitman
Jason Reitman
and Sheldon Turner (2009) Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(2010) Alexander Payne, Jim Rash, and Nat Faxon
Nat Faxon
(2011) Chris Terrio (2012) Billy Ray (2013) Graham Moore (2014) Adam McKay
Adam McKay
and Charles Randolph (2015) Eric Heisserer (2016) James Ivory
James Ivory
(2017)

v t e

Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Drama (2000–2009)

Rick Cleveland and Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
for "In Excelsis Deo" (2000) Tim Van Patten and Terence Winter
Terence Winter
for "Pine Barrens" (2001) Dawn Prestwich and Nicole Yorkin for "Pilot" (The Education of Max Bickford) (2002) Evan Katz
Evan Katz
for "Day 2: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m." (2003) Debora Cahn for "The Supremes" (2004) Lawrence Kaplow
Lawrence Kaplow
for "Autopsy" (2005) Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer for "Pilot" (Big Love) (2006) Terence Winter
Terence Winter
for "The Second Coming" (2007) Vince Gilligan
Vince Gilligan
for "Pilot" (Breaking Bad) (2008) David Foster, Russel Friend, Garrett Lerner, and David Shore
David Shore
for "Broken" (2009)

Complete list 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s

Authority control

WorldCat
WorldCat
Identities VIAF: 10941043 LCCN: n92057391 ISNI: 0000 0001 1437 8061 GND: 130028649 SUDOC: 12199709X BNF: cb141382976 (data) NLA: 40024566 NDL: 00475367 NKC: xx0079859 BNE: XX1297958 SN

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