Last night's Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay was awarded to John Ridley for 12 Years a Slave. You'd think this would be a celebratory moment for all parties involved, but that might not be the case: According to former Deadline editor-in-chief, Nikki Finke, Ridley and director Steve McQueen may be beefing over screenwriting credits for the film—which could explain why Ridley didn't even acknowledge McQueen in his acceptance speech last night.
My sources attributing John Ridley-Steve McQueen cold shoulder at Oscars tonight to dispute over screenplay credit.— Nikki Finke (@NikkiFinke) March 3, 2014
As Indiewire recalls, this wouldn't be the first time Ridley has fostered ill-will with a director over a screenplay.
Way back in 1999, Ridley and David O. Russell battled over "Three Kings," with the writer blocking the director from publishing a book of the screenplay. "This is a guy who every step of the way has tried to grab credit," Ridley told EW at the time. "I never heard a word while he was shooting the movie. Never saw any of the script changes. And then finally, a year later, I get a copy of the script, and my name isn't even on it. It's 'by David O. Russell.' My name is nowhere." "I'm shocked that he's blocking the book," Russell responded. "I think he's doing it because he's embarrassed by how little of his screenplay ended up in my movie."
We won't know if there really are tensions between the two filmmakers unless they say it outright, but really, this GIF of McQueen's reaction to Ridley's acceptance speech might just be saying enough. Decide amongst yourselves.