Oscar nominees Jason Reitman and SHELDON TURNER have dismissed stories they hate each other, but confess they didn’t meet until acclaimed movie UP IN THE AIR was completed.
Writer/director Reitman shares a screenwriting credit with Turner for adapting Walter Kirn’s book into a film - and the duo has already won a string of top awards.
But Internet film fans have suggested they’re reluctant partners.
It has been reported that Reitman, who admits he didn’t even read Turner's script before starting the film, is upset that he has to share a writing credit, and bloggers have suggested the pair has had a series of uncomfortable, awkward moments as they accepted honours at the Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Movie Awards.
But Turner tells the Los Angeles Times that nothing could be further from the truth.
He says, “I think the source of the speculation comes from the fact that maybe there was the assumption that we did in fact write together. I met Jason for the first time after the movie was done, but now that we've been through this (awards) circuit... we've become friends. It's a unique situation.”
Turner wrote his screenplay in 2001 and sold it to film bosses at movie studio DreamWorks. Reitman then wrote his own screenplay of the book and presented it to his star George Clooney, who agreed to lead the cast.
Reitman adds, “When our credits went up the first time and they say you're sharing credit with this other guy, you go 'Who's Sheldon Turner?’
“Then I meet him and he's a great guy and, beyond that, we were actually drawn to this book for the same reason and we both sat down to write the same screenplay. Even though we never sat in the same room or shared a keyboard we actually did write this movie together in a way, and because of that I'm very proud to share the credit with him."
Reitman and Turner are favourites to land the Best Adapted Screenplay prize at the Oscars on Sunday (07Mar10).