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Hollywood to Face Production Conflicts After SAG Strike Ends

Photo by Ahmet Yalçınkaya on Unsplash

Hollywood to Face Production Conflicts After SAG Strike Ends

By Movieguide® Contributor

As Hollywood prepares to return to work post-strikes, productions will find themselves vying for space in actors’ extremely limited time schedules.

“There will be negotiating between studios for all levels of talent for what films get made or promoted first,” a high-ranking distribution executive told TheWrap. “It’s going to be a full-on horses-trading session.”

“The immediate priority for all studios is to get the movies that were shut down in mid-production up and running again,” a top agent explained.

BEETLEJUICE 2, for example, was 99% finished when filming stopped as the actors went on strike in mid-July. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART TWO was 40% complete when the strike began.

While the SAG strike and negotiations are still ongoing, both productions star major Hollywood actors who likely have other projects lined up that would begin filming shortly after the strike ends. This leaves the movies partway through production in an unprecedented situation.

“There’s no precedent, in terms of contractual obligation, for what films get started or restarted first,” a distribution executive explained. This issue, especially when coupled with promotional obligations, leaves a scheduling nightmare for everyone involved.

To relieve pressure on the situation, many studios are cutting or pushing back production on movies they deem less important. Production on SUPERMAN: LEGACY, MORTAL KOMBAT 2 and MINECRAFT, for example, have all been pushed beyond 2024.

However, the crunch on the industry will be less intense than it otherwise could be, as studios have found in recent years that hitting certain release dates is not as important as previously thought.

TOP GUN: MAVERICK, for example, was originally set to release in 2019 but did not hit theaters until 2022. The movie ended up being a massive success thanks to its moral themes and was unhindered by its May release.

However, the strike must be resolved before the industry can return to work. While talks between SAG and the AMPTP have picked up since the writers’ strike ended, the unions have yet to find a solution.

Movieguide® previously reported:

SAG and AMPTP finished a full week of negotiations and plan to continue next week as the two sides work to hammer out a deal and bring the entertainment industry back to full force.

“SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP met for a full day bargaining session and have concluded,” the two sides said in a joint statement earlier this week. “Negotiations will continue Friday, October 6, with the parties working internally over the weekend, resuming Monday, October 9.”

While the actors’ union has met with the AMPTP at other times during the strike, this one is different—and a more sincere effort—as top CEOs sit down for multi-day talks. 

Specifically, this week, NBCUniversals’s Donna Langley, Warner Bros Discovery’s David Zaslav, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and Disney’s Bob Iger joined with SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland and SAG-AFTRA’s Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez.