24 January 2014 3:30 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Oscar nominated scriptwriter received no fee for first four years of development, until Hollywood finally stepped in

• Will Steve McQueen be first black film-maker to win best director Oscar?

• Oscars 2014: 12 Years a Slave must clean up. But that doesn't mean it will

12 Years a Slave scriptwriter John Ridley revealed that he worked unpaid on the script for the Oscar nominated film for four years.

Ridley, who had previously written scripts for Red Tails, Three Kings and U Turn told the Press Association: "There was no development money whatsoever for this project, so I said I'd take it on as a spec project, which means I'll write it for free."

12 Years, adapted from Solomon Northup's 1853 memoir of kidnap and slavery on a plantation in Louisiana, was initially spotted by director Steve McQueen's partner Bianca Stigter, and Ridley agreed to write a script well before any financial backing arrived. »

- Andrew Pulver

Report a problem



Similar News Items

Brad Pitt
Steve McQueen (III)
John Ridley (I)


IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.

See our NewsDesk partners