D.L. Chandler
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12 Years A Slave Screenplay Credit Rift Splits Steve McQueen & John Ridley

 

Details are emerging regarding a divide of sorts between 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen and screenwriter John Ridley after the 2014 Academy Awards this past Sunday.

Ridley won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, yet he didn’t thank McQueen in his acceptance speech. McQueen returned the snub after 12 Years A Slave won the Best Picture Oscar, thus fueling the swirling rumors of a feud.

The Wrap dug into the situation deeper, but it was obvious to millions something was amiss. During Ridley’s time at the podium for his win, the camera caught a shot of McQueen applauding with very little enthusiasm. Also noted was that Ridley walked right past the director during his approach to receive his award, which did not go unnoticed.

The Wrap has more:

Long before each came away with an Academy Award, “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen and screenwriter John Ridley were embroiled in a bitter feud regarding credit for the film’s Oscar-winning screenplay, a fight they kept quiet for the good of the campaign before it came to a head Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre.

Ridley turned down McQueen’s request for shared screenplay credit, TheWrap has learned. He won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay on Sunday and did not thank the director in his acceptance speech, striding past him on his way to the podium but pausing to hug director David O. Russell. Some observers interpreted McQueen’s unsmiling applause as half-hearted (see gif).

At the root, Ridley adapted a memoir from Solomon Northup for 12 Years A Slave and handed in his script to McQueen. McQueen added his own touches to Ridley’s script, and asked for a shared credit which is commonplace in the industry. Ridley declined, which prompted McQueen to go the film’s producers who eventually supported Ridley’s decision.

There was such bad blood between McQueen and Ridley that fellow film producer and co-star Brad Pitt tried to step in and cool the situation down a bit.

McQueen has reportedly kept a distance between his 12 Years A Slave collaborators and Ridley, even allegedly having his people not sit with the screenwriter during other award ceremonies.

Perhaps the men keeping things mum was a good thing, especially with big wins for McQueen, Ridley, and Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Photo: Dave Bedrosian/Future Image/WENN.com

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