Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The magazine story or the movie?
Sure, you’ve read about all of this year’s Oscar-nominated films—from Boyhood to Gone Girl—in your Next Issue app. But did you know that sometimes the films competing for an Academy Award are actually adapted from the magazines you love?
In honor of the 87th Academy Awards this weekend, we’ve compiled a throwback to eight great Oscar-nominated films, all of which were inspired by a legendary magazine story. Read the original stories and decide for yourself, what kind of article makes for a blockbuster film adaptation?
Who knows…you just might come across a Best Picture next time you settle in for some Next Issue reading.
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Adaptation (2002) — inspired by “The Orchid Thief” in The New Yorker (1995)
A lovelorn screenwriter (Nicolas Cage) becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep) for the screen.
Almost Famous (2000) — adapted from “The Allman Brothers Story” in Rolling Stone (1973)
A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies it on their concert tour.
American Gangster (2007) — adapted from “The Return of Superfly” in New York Magazine (2000)
In 1970s America, a detective (Russell Crowe) works to bring down the drug empire of Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington), a heroin kingpin from Manhattan, who is smuggling the drug into the country from the Far East.
Argo (2012) — adapted from “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans in Tehran” in WIRED (2007)
Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent (Ben Affleck) launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.
Boogie Nights (1997) — adapted from“The Devil and John Holmes” in Rolling Stone (1989)
The story of a young man’s adventures in the Californian pornography industry of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Into the Wild (2007) — adapted from “Death of an Innocent” in Outside (1993)
After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.
The Insider (1999) — adapted from “The Man Who Knew Too Much” in Vanity Fair (1996)
A research chemist (Russell Crowe) comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a “60 Minutes” expose on Big Tobacco.
In Cold Blood (1967) — adapted from “In Cold Blood: The Last to See Them Alive” in The New Yorker (1965)
After a botched robbery results in the brutal murder of a rural family, two drifters elude police, in the end coming to terms with their own mortality and the repercussions of their vile atrocity.