John Ridley

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John Ridley
John Ridley in Nov 2013.jpg
John Ridley at the Stockholm Film Festival in 2013.
Born John Ridley IV
October 1965
Milwaukee, Wisconsin US
Alma mater New York University
Occupation Screenwriter
Film director
Novelist
Television writer
Television director
Years active 1993–present
Notable work 12 Years a Slave
Children 2
Parent(s) John Ridley III

John Ridley IV[1] (born October 1965)[2] is an American screenwriter, film director, novelist, television showrunner and writer known for 12 Years a Slave, for which he won an Academy Award in 2013 for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Early life[edit]

Ridley was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,[2] and raised from age 7 in Mequon, Wisconsin,[3][4] with an ophthalmologist father, John Ridley, III, and a mother, Terry Ridley, who was a special education teacher[5] for Milwaukee Public Schools.[3][6] He has two sisters and is the middle sibling.[3]

Ridley graduated from Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin in 1982.[3] He enrolled in Indiana University, but transferred to New York University.[3]

Career[edit]

Following college, Ridley performed standup comedy in New York City, with appearances on a David Letterman late-night talk show and The Tonight Show.[3] Moving to Los Angeles in 1990, he began writing for such television sitcoms as “Martin,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “The John Larroquette Show.[3]

After both writing and directing his film debut, the 1997 crime thriller Cold Around the Heart, he and Oliver Stone co-adapted Ridley's first novel, Stray Dogs (still unpublished when Stone bought the rights[7]) into the 1997 Stone-directed film U Turn, which was released slightly earlier than Cold Around the Heart. Ridley went on to write the novels Love Is a Racket and Everybody Smokes in Hell. His novel Spoils of War was adapted into the 1999 David O. Russell-directed Three Kings. Ridley's original script was rewritten by Russell and Ridley, with Ridley receiving a "story by" credit negotiated among himself, Russell and the releasing studio, Warner Bros.[8] Ridley then became a writer and a supervising producer on the NBC crime-drama Third Watch. His other novels are The Drift, Those Who Walk in Darkness and A Conversation with the Mann.[3] He also wrote the graphic novel The American Way.[9]

His work as screenwriter also includes 12 Years a Slave,[10] Red Tails, and Undercover Brother. His script for 12 Years a Slave won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay,[11] making Ridley the second African-American to win the award after Geoffrey S. Fletcher for Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire.[10][12]

He is currently working on writing and creating the next installment in the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe: a TV show for ABC, and Marvel Studios based on an already established Marvel Comics character.[13]

Filmography[edit]

Movies[edit]

Year Feature film Credit/Role Notes
1997 U Turn Writer
1997 Cold Around the Heart Writer/Director Urbanworld Film Festival Jury Prize for Best Director
1999 Three Kings Writer Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Original Screenplay (Runner-Up)
Nominated — Golden Satellite Award for Best Original Screenplay (shared with David O. Russell)
Nominated — Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay (shared with David O. Russell)
2002 Undercover Brother Writer Nominated — Black Reel Award for Best Screenplay
2012 Red Tails Writer
2013 All Is by My Side Writer/Director
2013 12 Years a Slave Writer Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
African-American Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Austin Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Austin Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Black Reel Award for Best Screenplay
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Screenplay
Indiana Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay
International Online Film Critics' Poll Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Adapted Screenplay(Runner-Up)
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay
Utah Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (Runner-Up)
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated — AACTA International Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated — Denver Film Critics Society Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated — Georgia Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated — London Film Critics' Circle Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated — San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated — Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay
2016 Ben-Hur Writer

Television[edit]

Year TV series Credit/Role Notes
1993 Martin Writer
1994 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Writer
1995 The John Larroquette Show Writer
1995 The Show Writer
1998 Team Knight Rider Writer
1995 Trinity Writer
1999–2004 Third Watch Writer
2003 Platinum Writer/Director
2003 Static Shock Writer
2004 Justice League Writer
2005 Barbershop: The Series Writer
2005 The Wanda Sykes Show Writer
2015 American Crime Creator/Writer/Director

Works and publications[edit]

Novels[edit]

Graphic novels[edit]

Stage plays[edit]

  • Ridley, John. Ten Thousand Years. 2005 (world premiere).

Essays[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Ridley is married to wife Gayle, a former script supervisor.[4][7] They have two children.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reardon, Patrick. chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1998-09-24/features/9809240308_1_fingers-novels-sound. Retrieved 25 March 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b Bozzola, Lucia. "John Ridley". AllMovie / Rovi via The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 28, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Chandler, Kurt (January 31, 2008). "How to be a Famous Hollywood Writer". Milwaukee Magazine. Archived from the original on November 26, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Dudek, Duane (January 16, 2014). "Mequon native Ridley talks Oscar nominations for '12 Years A Slave'". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Archived from the original on January 18, 2015. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  5. ^ Reardon, Patrick. "John Ridley's Childhood". chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Bence, Susan (4 March 2014). "Oscar Winner John Ridley's Father Talks About Life Before Desegregation" (Audio). WUWM Milwaukee. Archived from the original on January 28, 2015. Retrieved January 18, 2015.  Audio archived on January 28, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "John Ridley, Easy Writer". Entertainment Weekly. October 8, 1999. Archived from the original on February 28, 2015. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  8. ^ '"Entertainment Weekly, "John Ridley, Easy Writer", p. 2. Archived from the original on February 28, 2015.
  9. ^ Gross, Terry (May 2, 2007). "A Disenchanted Look at 'The American Way'" (Audio interview). Fresh Air (NPR). Archived from the original on January 22, 2015. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Cieply, Michael; Barnes, Brooks (March 2, 2014). "A Landmark Oscar Win for ‘12 Years a Slave’". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 28, 2015. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  11. ^ Shattuck, Kathryn (January 16, 2014). "What the Writer Had to Edit From ‘12 Years a Slave’". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 28, 2015. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  12. ^ Lee, Chris (March 2, 2014). "Oscars 2014: '12 Years a Slave' wins for adapted screenplay". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 28, 2015. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ Ridley in Thompson, Anne (October 16, 2013). "Oscar-Winner John Ridley Talks Writing '12 Years a Slave' and Directing Hendrix Biopic 'All Is By My Side'". Indiewire.com. Archived from the original on October 31, 2014. At the end of the year, when all these things are happening and you've got two kids, a lot of what you see gets determined by what gets put in front of you. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Gennusa, Chris R. "John Ridley: Burnt Noir." Creative Screenwriting. Winter 1997, v. 4 n.4, pp. 33–38

External links[edit]