After a trying WGA arbitration process, the credit scroll on Jurassic World will read: Screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Colin Trevorrow & Derek Connolly; Story by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver; Based on characters created by Michael Crichton. I’ve written two stories about this arbitration after Universal initially supported sole credit for Trevorrow (the film’s director) and Connolly. Trevorrow reached out last night to clarify his thoughts on my coverage — he thought it harsh — and make it clear his beef wasn’t with the rival writing team but rather a “disdain for the arbitration process and the ugliness it often breeds.”
“As I left our scoring session today, I was met by another story about the ongoing arbitration on Jurassic World,” Trevorrow told Deadline. “I’d like to take a moment to clarify the situation and hopefully put it to rest. Contrary to your story, Derek Connolly and I did not appeal the decision by the Writers Guild East. We strongly disagreed, and waited to read the arbiters’ statements to see if we had grounds to appeal under Guild rules. We did not. We accepted the ruling this past Tuesday morning, and the matter was settled. On Friday, we received word that the WGA had reopened the arbitration and held a second hearing. The three arbiters determined a story credit was required, which they gave to Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. We were not informed of this second hearing until it was already over, and though we also strongly disagree with this decision, we will not appeal it.”
While they were on opposite sides of the arbitration process, Trevorrow indicated he and Connolly shared more with Jaffa & Silver than the script credit each was eventually awarded; they had a mutual dislike for a WGA process that can leave writers looking like a credit-grabbing lot.
“I have spoken with Rick and Amanda several times over the past few days,” Treverrow told Deadline. “Though we may not agree on the specifics of this ruling, we share a disdain for the arbitration process and the ugliness it often breeds. Our conversations ended in a spirit I’d like to think the Guild would support — that credit could be equally shared. Jurassic World is a special film, and I’d rather acknowledge these writers as co-designers of this adventure than bitter enemies who must be avoided at parties. That kind of animosity isn’t in the spirit of our craft, or our organization. Though I will remain a proud member of the WGA, I encourage my fellow members to work together to find alternative ways to evaluate our contributions.”
Trevorrow contacted me because he felt my coverage gave the perception there was more acrimony between the writing teams than actually existed. He feared that would be the lingering impression. “This [makes] people cynical about movies” he said. “It supports the idea that Hollywood films are written by committee, and the assignation of credit is a free-for-all amongst self-serving writers vying for residuals. While that may sometimes be true, it is more often about creators wanting their hard work to be labeled clearly as their own. One thing is certain — none of it will matter when the lights go down.”