Reitman, Turner Address Bad-Blood Rumors Over ‘Up in the Air’ Credit

During an Up in the Air screening and Q&A on Sunday, the film’s two award-winning screenwriters, Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, answered questions about the supposed bad blood between them.

Reitman, according to The Envelope, explained that it was a strange situation for him when he first learned he would be sharing credit. But after meeting Turner, Reitman says he felt, “we actually did write this movie together in a way.”

Although they never collaborated and wrote completely separate drafts, a WGA arbitration determined that both would be awarded credit for adapting the Walter Kirn novel.

Reitman says he never read Turner’s script, and the pair didn’t meet until after Reitman had finished the movie.

“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,” said Turner. “Now that we’ve been sort of through this (awards) ‘circuit,’ which Jason is a lot more familiar with than I am, we’ve become friends. It’s a unique situation.”

“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?'” Reitman said.

After two WGA arbitrations (the first is automatic when a writer-director is involved) and Turner (but not Griffin) was awarded co-writing status, Reitman got used to the idea he wouldn’t have sole credit for a screenplay that was very personal to him and that he thought he wrote by himself, The Envelope says.

“But 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 recounted.

“One of the proudest moments for me was seeing the movie for the first time and seeing all the things Jason realized. How could I not be proud to sit next to him and have my name next to him? Actually, I think it’s a success story in the way things can work,” Turner said.

Still, eyebrows were raised when Reitman spoke at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and then appeared to leave the stage as music played and Turner got no chance to speak. At the Globes two days later Turner jumped up quickly and started talking first.

“Whoever gets to the mike first gets to talk. Sheldon is obviously athletic but I’m fast,” Reitman said. “This whole thing is so silly.”