The movie Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is ready for an Oscar in the Best Adapted Screenplay classification. Neither Knives Out nor Glass Onion was adapted from a book, a play, or any other previously published material, and it can be a little confusing. Seeing Rian Johnson’s influence as a writer and director is simple. His writing is flavoured with Agatha Christie, and Herbert Ross notes. Inspiration, however, does not equate to adaptation. Nevertheless, Glass Onion shouldn’t be considered for Best Adapted Screenplay because it isn’t based on anything.
The film won and was nominated for numerous accolades, including two Golden Globe nominations, six Critics’ Choice nominations, and more. The National Board of Review selected the film as one of the highest ten movies of 2022, and Johnson received a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 95th Academy Awards. By Oscar standards, a movie can only be considered “adapted” if it is a sequel. Although the Academy has nominated some sequels for Best Original Screenplay in the past, all previous sequels that have won Best Adapted Screenplay were based on previously published works. What follows is the inquiry of “how original is this screenplay?” In addition to being based on a previously published work, the standard for adaptations has been whether the characters or plot were lifted from another work. Despite being a sequel, Glass Onion differs significantly from its predecessor in several ways.
Glass Onion differs significantly from the first movie in its “series” in plot, cast, and not even a single location. One could argue that all detective tales are simply short, enjoyable adventures. Nevertheless, Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and even Nancy Drew had a supporting cast of recurring characters. We have yet to witness a supporting character make an additional appearance in Benoit Blanc’s infant Knives Out series. Glass Onion appears to be more like its own movie than one that is based on another movie with the same protagonist for the time being, though perhaps this will change in the future.
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