News Nuggets: What is behind the bitter ’12 Years a Slave’ feud?

Oscar wins Sunday night for “12 Years a Slave” uncover a bitter feud between the screenwriter and director of the Best Picture champ. Fox Searchlight has kept the rift as quiet as possible during campaigning, and producer Brad Pitt has personally been trying to “mediate the growing feud.” Director/producer Steve McQueen wanted to be credited as the co-writer of the film, but writer John Ridley turned him down. The studio sided with Ridley, who went on to win Best Adapted Screenplay. McQueen ultimately won for producing but not as a director. Neither man bothered to thank the other during the acceptance speeches. The Wrap.

Scroll through over 150 photos from the legendary post-Oscars Vanity Fair party. Attendees include Sunday’s Oscar winners Lupita Nyong’o and Jared Leto, plus Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Bradley Cooper, Taylor Swift, Amy Adams, Bill Murray, Benedict Cumberbatch, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Sidney Poitier, Robert De Niro, and more. Vanity Fair.

The Academy Awards ceremony on ABC hits a 10-year viewership peak. The broadcast hosted by Ellen DeGeneres drew 43 million viewers, improving 6% over last year’s event. It was the mosted watch entertertainment program since the “Friends” finale on NBC in 2004. TV Guide.

The infamous mangling of Idina Menzel‘s name on the Oscars by presenter John Travolta might actually be a good thing. First of all, that new Twitter handle of “Adele Dazeem” has thousands of followers and is a trending topic. Secondly, Menzel’s upcoming Broadway musical “If/Then” could use the publicity. With her stage absence over the past decade and no other big names, producers are now hoping the extra attention will boost pre-sales. It will also tie them in even further with the blockbuster film “Frozen,” in which Menzel voiced a major character. Variety.

Gregg Kilday gets Oscar producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan to reveal some of the ceremony secrets after the show. Meryl Streep was given advance notice that host Ellen DeGeneres would be visiting her in the audience but didn’t tell her why. DeGeneres insisted that they not hire an actor as the pizza delivery boy but use the real thing instead. The duo had blocked out a big production number with many stars but scrapped the idea. Hollywood Reporter.

Final box office numbers for the weekend place the Liam Neeson film “Non-Stop” in first place with $28.8 million. The other big debut is the religious film “Son of God” in second place with $25.6 million. The top blockbuster of the year, “The Lego Movie,” falls to third with $20.8 million, for an overall four-week haul of $209 million. Deadline.

Is it too early to discuss next year’s Oscars? Glenn Whipp predicts that the red carpet might see a return of Angelina Jolie. She is directing the film “Unbroken” about World War II hero and Olympic runner Louis Zamperini. The other movies on his radar are “Interstellar” (Christopher Nolan), “Gone Girl” (David Fincher), “Foxcatcher” (Bennett Miller), “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Wes Anderson), “Inherent Vice” (Paul Thomas Anderson), “The Giver” (Phillip Noyce), “Jersey Boys” (Clint Eastwood), and “Exodus” (Ridley Scott). L.A. Times.

A new poll already wants to know who should host the Oscars next time. Should Ellen DeGeneres be asked a third time, or should it be Kevin Spacey, Neil Patrick Harris, Jimmy Kimmel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emma Watson, Kevin Hart, or Melissa McCarthy? Entertainment Weekly.

3 thoughts on “News Nuggets: What is behind the bitter ’12 Years a Slave’ feud?

  1. Melissa McCarthy would be a great host, but I think she should do it as part of a pairing. What about her and Kristen Wiig? I actually think Rebel Wilson would be a pretty good host, but she might need to be tested out hosting something smaller first. She was very funny last year when she was presenting Judd Apatow the Genius Award at the Critics Choice Awards.

  2. Funny that neither The Wrap nor this article mentions the fact that giving a writing credit to a director (or producer) triggers mandatory WGA arbitration. I have to assume Fox Searchlight sided with Ridley mainly to avoid delays and possible public squabbles during the arbitration process that would have ensued if they had honored McQueen’s request.

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