LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Acclaimed X-Men spin-off Logan - featuring a beleaguered, bleaker version of Wolverine - on Thursday (Jan 4) joined the tiny clique of superhero movies nominated for Hollywood's top writing awards.
The Writers Guild of America nominated the Fox movie's script by Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green in its adapted screenplay category alongside Call Me by Your Name, The Disaster Artist, Molly's Game and Mudbound.
It was the biggest surprise among the nominations, which recognised critical hits The Big Sick, Get Out, I, Tonya, Lady Bird and The Shape of Water in the original screenplay category.
Logan, directed by Mangold and starring Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, was one of the best-received action movies of 2017 and has a 93 per cent approval rating on reviews website Rotten Tomatoes.
"Loosely based on Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's comic-book Old Man Logan, the script... tempers its brutality with a testament to family and a need to belong that crosses borders and bloodlines," wrote Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers. "Make no mistake, Logan earns its tears. If Jackman and Stewart are serious about this being their mutual X-Men swan song, they could not have crafted a more heartfelt valedictory."
Comic-book movies don't tend to score big in the awards season except in technical categories, but Fox's Deadpool, another X-Men spin-off, was another exception in last year's WGA awards. Starring Ryan Reynolds, the film eventually lost out to Denis Villeneuve's alien invasion drama Arrival for the adapted screenplay prize.
In 2015, the guild nominated the similarly irreverent Guardians of the Galaxy, but that did not win either.
The WGA awards is one of the last major award ceremonies ahead of the Oscars. Winners will be honoured on Feb 11, at concurrent ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York.