Hint: Top Gun: Maverick was nominated in the category for the same reason.
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Fans of director Rian Johnson's mystery movies were probably delighted to see Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery score an Oscar nomination on Tuesday morning for Best Adapted Screenplay. It makes sense, since the first Knives Out film in 2019 scored a similar nomination.

Except Knives Out was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, and Glass Onion is nominated in the other writing category: Best Adapted Screenplay. Why is that?

Kate Hudson, Jessica Henwick, Daniel Craig, and Leslie Odom Jr. in 'Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery'
Kate Hudson, Jessica Henwick, Daniel Craig, and Leslie Odom Jr. in 'Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery'
| Credit: John Wilson/Netflix

Glass Onion openly wears its influences on its sleeve. As Johnson previously told EW, Agatha Christie's Evil Under the Sun and Herbert Ross' 1973 cruise mystery The Last of Sheila were both formative. But Glass Onion is not directly adapted from either.

The movie was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay because, under the Oscar rubric, any sequel goes into that category. You don't just have to be directly adapted from a novel or film to count as an adaptation for the Oscars; being based on any kind of previously established material is what matters. Since Glass Onion carried over the character of Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) from the first Knives Out, it is technically an adaptation. Perhaps this is why Johnson told EW he was "pissed" about the movie's subtitle; he would've preferred to create more of a distinction and emphasize how "it's a new novel off the shelf every time."

You may have noticed that Glass Onion is not the only sequel in this year's class of Best Adapted Screenplay nominees. Top Gun: Maverick was nominated in the category for the same reason.

The 95th Academy Awards will air Sunday, March 12, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC. See the full list of 2023 Oscar nominations here.

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Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022 movie)
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