- BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.
Green Book (Universal Pictures) won the Producers Guild’s coveted Darryl F. Zanuck Award, topping nine other nominated features at a gala evening ceremony on Saturday (1/19) in Beverly Hills. Green Book is hoping to follow the predominant Guild storyline which has seen the Zanuck winner match the Best Picture Oscar recipient 20 times over the past 29 years; this was the case last year with The Shape of Water.
In his acceptance remarks, Green Book producer and director Peter Farrelly said, “When you make Dumb and Dumber, you never expect to get an award.” In fact, he quipped that he hadn’t even heard about the Producers Guild Awards until recently. “When you’re not in the conversation, they don’t tell you about these things.”
Indeed Farrelly’s comedy filmography over the years hadn’t registered on the awards show circuit. But that’s changed with Green Book, the heartfelt race relations road trip movie that has elements of drama and comedy, Its marquee Producers Guild win adds to a haul which includes the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival, another historically accurate harbinger of things to come at the Oscars. Green Book also recently earned best comedy distinction at the Golden Globe Awards. (The Golden Globe for dramatic feature went to Bohemian Rhapsody.)
Based on a true story, Green Book introduces us to Dr. Don Shirley (portrayed by Mahershala Ali), a world-class African-American piano virtuoso who’s about to embark on a concert tour in the Deep South in 1962. In need of a street smart driver and protector, Shirley recruits Tony Vallelonga, a.k.a. Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), an Italian-American bouncer who knows how to get out of a jam. Though they’re from different worlds, the two men connect and form a bond while encountering racism and peril during an era of segregation.
Also during his acceptance of the Producers Guild Award, Farrelly thanked Shirley and Vallelonga for leading lives that “touched so many people” and “made people better.” Farrelly additionally extended thanks to his fellow Green Book producers, Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler, Brian Currie and Nick Vallelonga
The other nine features nominated by the Producers Guild were: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Rich Asians, The Favourite, A Quiet Place. Roma, A Star is Born, and Vice.
Joining Green Book in the feature categories winners’ circle were: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus Features) which scored the award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Motion Pictures; and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures), toping the Animated Theatrical Motion Picture category.
On the television front, The Americans (FX) won for Episodic TV-Drama while The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon) earned distinction as the Outstanding Producer of Episodic TV-Comedy.
Other TV honors went to RuPaul’s Drag Race (Logo) for game and competition television, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (CNN) for non-fiction television, and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX) for limited series. Sesame Street (PBS) won for children’s programming, Being Serena (HBO) for sports program and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (Netflix) for short form.
Amy Sherman-Palladino, creator of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as well as Gilmore Girls, was presented a special honor, the Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television.
Lear himself presented the Guild’s Visionary Award to black-ish creator Kenya Barris.
A Star is Born director/actor/producer Bradley Cooper presented the Guild’s special Milestone Award to Warner Bros. Pictures group chairman Toby Emmerich. Cooper thanked Emmerich for the first-time feature directing gig on A Star is Born. In his Milestone acceptance remarks, Emmerich in turn said to Cooper, “I’m so proud to have been your wingman on your maiden voyage. Please count me in on many more journeys.”
Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, received the Guild’s David O. Selznick Achievement Award from presenter Robert Downey Jr. In reference to Feige’s career-altering casting of Downey Jr as Iron Man some 10-plus years ago, the actor thanked the Marvel exec whom he said “MEDAVACed me from the top of insurance-risk mountain and delivered me to the upper-middle of the Forbes list.”
Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen presented the Stanley Kramer Award to Jane Fonda for her activism reflected in her filmmaking and TV exploits as well as her initiatives and philanthropy as a private/public citizen. In her acceptance remarks, Fonda noted that Producers Guild membership is almost half women, who are increasingly getting their voices heard and making a positive impact on the industry and society at large. She quipped, “It’s not like we’re better. We just don’t have our masculinity to prove.”
Here’s a rundown of Producers Guild competition award winners:
The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures
Producers: Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Producers: Avi Arad, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, Amy Pascal, Christina Steinberg
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Producers: Morgan Neville, Nicholas Ma, Caryn Capotosto
The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television - Drama
The Americans (Season 6)
Producers: Joe Weisberg, Joel Fields, Chris Long, Graham Yost, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Stephen Schiff, Mary Rae Thewlis, Tracey Scott Wilson, Peter Ackerman, Joshua Brand
The Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television - Comedy
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Season 2)
Producers: Amy Sherman‐Palladino, Daniel Palladino, Dhana Rivera Gilbert, Sheila Lawrence
The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Limited Series Television
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (Season 2)
Producers: Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Alexis Martin Woodall, Tom Rob Smith, Daniel Minahan, Brad Falchuk, Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski, Chip Vucelich, Maggie Cohn, Eric Kovtun, Lou Eyrich, Eryn Krueger Mekash
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Streamed or Televised Motion Pictures
Producers: Sarah Green, Ramin Bahrani, Michael B. Jordan, Alan Gasmer, Peter Jaysen, David Coatsworth
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (Season 11, Season 12)
Producers: Anthony Bourdain, Christopher Collins, Lydia Tenaglia, Sandra Zweig
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (Season 5)
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Game & Competition Television
RuPaul’s Drag Race (Season 10)
The Award for Outstanding Short-Form Program
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (Season 5)
The Award for Outstanding Sports Program
Being Serena (Season 1)
The Award for Outstanding Children’s Program
Sesame Street (Season 48)