Yesterday, we speculated that John Ridley and Steve McQueen might be beefing over the 12 Years a Slave screenplay credit, citing the fact that both seemed to give each other the cold shoulder at this past Sunday's Oscars. Today, the why of the matter seems a great deal clearer.
According to The Wrap, McQueen requested to share a screenwriting credit for 12 Years a Slave because he helped fine tune the script. Ridley subsequently denied, and the two began a cold war. As a result, neither Ridley or McQueen acknowledged one another at the Oscars during their acceptance speeches for Best Adapted Screenplay or Best Film, respectively.
Also, there was McQueen's disinterested and apathetic applause after Ridley's speech.
The Wrap reports:
McQueen was nonplussed and appealed to Fox Searchlight, which ultimately sided with Ridley. Brad Pitt, who produced Slave and plays a small role in the film, was even forced to step in at one point and mediate. (It didn’t help that Pitt was also in the midst of a PR battle with Paramount over the fact that his company Plan B, based at the studio at the time, failed to offer it a chance to finance and distribute 12 Years a Slave before taking the project to New Regency.)
A low point in the Ridley vs. McQueen fight was at the British Academy of Film Awards, where McQueen demanded he be seated at a different table than the screenwriter (as well as at other award shows during the tail end of the season).
The Wrap states that two "insiders" claimed McQueen allegedly "berated Ridley’s wife while the writer was in the bathroom, trying to snatch up her BAFTA souvenirs and leaving her in tears."
To reiterate, it's not clear whether or not any of this is actually the case—but it seems likely that something is going on between the director and screenwriter judging by their recent behavior: What other reason would there be for the cold shoulder at every award show in the last month?
[via The Wrap]