‘Get Out’ Named the Best Screenplay of the 21st Century by Writers Guild of America

'Get Out' Jordan Peele WGA Writers Guild of America Best Screenplay
Courtesy of Blumhouse

The horror of Get Out may dwell in the sunken place, but in the eyes of the Writers Guild of America, Jordan Peele’s screenplay has risen to the top. The WGA just released the “101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st Century (So Far),” and on that list, Peele’s game-changing debut is ranked no less than number one.

The “101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st Century (So Far)” was voted upon by the members of the Writers Guilds West and East. WGAW’s publicity and marketing committee chair Aaron Mendelsohn described it in a statement as “both a celebration of the great writers and screenplays of the last 21 years and a study of how writing for the screen has evolved and diversified since the 20th Century. Plus, it’s a great conversation—and argument—starter.”

In his introduction to the list, writer Paul Brownstein compares Get Out to Casablanca.

“Imagine Jordan Peele pitching his concept to Jack Warner, and it immediately becomes apparent why comparing screenplays across Hollywood epochs is a non-starter,” he writes. “‘We weren’t making art, we were making a living,’ screenwriter Julius Epstein famously quipped of the studio system under which Casablanca was written.

Get Out wasn’t conceived and written under any such restrictions, with a catch: The very concept of ‘writing for the screen’ is in existential crisis. The studio system has given way to the streaming system, where everything, no matter the source, competes for eyeballs. This great (right?) democratization of content has also changed a lot of hard-and-fast rules.”

Also Read: Jordan Peele’s Get Out, Plus 9 More Horror Movies With Feel-Good, Happy Endings

That change of rules, Brownstein explains, has opened up new possibilities for horror and genre-blending films: “Formerly individuated genres like sci-fi, horror, comedy, and drama intersect freely, sometimes all in the same screenplay—see Parasite or The Lobster.”

Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won’s script for Parasite earned a spot among the list’s top five, at number four overall. Other horror or genre-adjacent screenplays on the list include Promising Young Woman (#23), Arrival (#27), Pan’s Labyrinth (#36), Mulholland Dr. (#41), and Shaun of the Dead (#77).

Read the WGA’s full list here.



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