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Two brothers were once nominated for an Oscar



Every year, big names in the film industry are presented with the Oscar at the Academy Awards. Once there was a special nomination – because in reality there was no winner.

Which Oscar was it about? At the Academy Awards in 2003, Charlie and Donald Kaufman were chosen for the film's script Adaptation nominated in the “Best Adapted Screenplay” category (via

But in reality, Donald Kaufman doesn't exist. He is the first fictional character ever to be nominated for the film award.

Here you can see a German trailer for the adaptation with Nicolas Cage in the roles Charlie and Donald Kaufman:

German trailer for adaptation with Nicolas Cage in a double role

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That's why a fictional character was nominated for an Oscar

How did the nomination come about? The script too adaptation actually comes from Charlie Kaufman. At that time he was commissioned to write the book The Orchid Thief to be implemented as a screen play.

However, he was plagued by writer's block and he simply couldn't come up with a green denominator. So instead of a pure 1:1 adaptation of the book, he wrote a slightly different story, namely the plot of Adaptation.

What is adaptation about? It's about self-hating screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, who has a fictional twin brother named Donald and problems with it. The Orchid Thief to be implemented as a film adaptation.

The writer simply had the brilliant idea of ​​writing his current situation as a story. Donald is Charlie's personal nightmare, but he then becomes a source of inspiration for the screenwriter and thus embodies the writing process behind the film.

In the end, since Charlie Kaufman was so grateful that the character had solved his writer's block, Donald was quickly hired as co-writer of Adaptation listed.

Because the name is in the credits, the character was then included in the Oscar nomination alongside the actual author.

If you want to know who was nominated for an Oscar this year, then check out our colleagues from Filmstarts here: The Oscar nominations 2024: “Oppenheimer” vs. “Barbie” – and Germany also has a chance at the film award

Did the brothers win the Oscar? The Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay was not up for grabs Adaptationbut ended up going to Ronald Harwood for the screen play of The Pianist hand over.

However, with his nomination, Donald Kaufman secured an entry in the Guinness Book of Records as “First fictional character to be nominated for an Oscar.”

You wouldn't just have Nicolas Cage in Adaptationbut also in the Lord of the ringstrilogy can see. However, he rejected the project. He once explained why exactly in an interview: Nicolas Cage could have had a lead role in Lord of the Rings – Turned it down because he's not a jerk like he was in Massive Talent

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