Look at the picture below. If it looks familiar, it’s because it was used yesterday in the open. There’s Steve McQueen jumping in joy at the front. Now look all the way to the back... yeah.
See that guy back there, giving kind of a laconic peace sign? That’s the screenwriter, John Ridley. In fact, he won Best Adapted Screenplay just a little earlier in the evening.
Why isn’t he happier, then? Why is he in the back when everyone else is jumping and screaming?
Apparently, allegedly, here’s how it happened. Steve McQueen brought the source material to John Ridley and asked him to write a speculative (spec) draft – which he did. Which they collaborated further on, to the point where McQueen thought they should share credit. John didn’t agree. Allegedly.
And then the studio got involved. And Brad Pitt. Trying to make the credit situation right. And everyone was told to keep damn quiet about it because the movie was precarious enough, what with not being delightful light amusing material, without further turning off voters with infighting.
And then, allegedly, Steve McQueen launched a cold war, excluding Ridley from parties, making him sit at different tables. Ridley didn’t thank McQueen in his speech. An “oversight”, of course. I’m sure McQueen would say the same when he didn’t mention Ridley. He air-clapped for him when he won rather than letting his hands meet.
Are you getting the nervous stomach cramps you had every day in junior high?
Now of course, when asked about it at Vanity Fair, they all said it was oversight. Of course they did. But when there’s this much smoke? When the denials keep coming and coming? Come on. You don’t smell something?