Hollywood’s most anticipated films from “Gladiator 2” to the eighth “Mission Impossible” — plus streaming faves like “Outer Banks” and “Stranger Things” — faded to black.
Productions ground to a halt on sets in the US and across the globe Friday, a day after the union protecting Hollywood’s biggest A-listers in the Screen Actors Guild voted to join their striking Writers Guild brethren in their battle against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents studios and streamers.
The work stoppage quieted swordplay for the filming of “Gladiator 2” in Malta and pushed back plans for the eighth and final installment of Tom Cruise’s mega-franchise, which had its global premiere of “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” on Wednesday.
Also yelling cut was Marvel’s latest “Deadpool” — two days after Blake Lively took her three children to England to watch hubby Ryan Reynolds don the superhero costume.
Closer to home, “Juror #2” — the Clint Eastwood-directed legal drama about a juror who begins to suspect he may have caused the victim’s death — ceased production in Savannah, Ga. The film is rumored to the last go-around for the 93-year-old star.
Universal’s two-part film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical “Wicked” went dark, The Wrap reported. The film, starring Ariana Grande as Glinda, is scheduled to hit theaters on Christmas of 2024.
“Twisters” — an update to the 1996 film “Twister,” which follows a pair of storm chasers — stopped filming until the strike-induced storm passes, according to The Wrap.
On the small screen, streaming hit “Outer Banks” stopped filming its fourth season in Charleston, SC, according to The Post and Courier. Other Netflix shows put on hold were the eight and final season of “Big Mouth,” and Season 6 of “Cobra Kai, as well as pre-production for Marvel’s vampire reboot, “Blade,” and the next installment of “Stranger Things.”
The teams behind long-running animated TV sitcoms “Family Guy” and “American Dad” also reportedly walked off the job.
All the late-night TV hosts — Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers — have pulled their punchlines.
In all, more than 160,000 Hollywood workers represented by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have joined the Writers Guild of America (WGA) members, who went out on strike May 2. The unions are demanding higher-paying contracts that better protect workers in the entertainment industry from changes brought on by streaming and emerging tech.
The studios, however, are reportedly digging in for a long fight. One executive told Deadline they will “allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses.”
The bigwigs believe that by October, most writers will be running out of money after five months on the picket lines and no work, the outlet reported.
“Not Halloween precisely, but late October, for sure, is the intention,” a top-tier producer close to AMPTP told Deadline.
By that time, studios and streamers believe they’ll be able to close the deal they want as cash-strapped workers will be desperate to begin getting paychecks again.
Meanwhile, the stars of HBO’s hugely-popular “Game of Thrones” sequel will not take to the picket lines. The second season of “House of the Dragon” remained in production because the cast is composed primarily of UK actors working under contracts governed by the local union Equity, Variety reported.
Members represented by Equity — despite being SAG-AFTRA’s sister union — aren’t legally allowed to strike in solidarity with the US union, according to the outlet.
HBO’s “Industry” and Max’s “Dune” spinoff series, “Dune: The Sisterhood,” also reportedly operate under Equity rules.
Thankfully for cinemas, “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” have already been complete and are expected to rake in millions of dollars when they hit the box office simultaneously on July 21.
The premiere for Christopher Nolan’s upcoming three-hour, R-rated biographical thriller took place on Thursday, and its star-studded cast — which includes Cillian Murphy, Florence Pugh, Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt and Matt Damon — was in attendance.
Yet shortly after SAG-AFTRA announced its decision to join in on WGA’s strike, the cast left the event.
“Unfortunately they’re off to write their picket signs for what we believe to be an imminent strike by SAG,” Nolan said at the UK premiere, according to Forbes.
The films could be movie theaters’ final money-makers for a while.
The industry hasn’t seen this type of shutdown since COVID, and a strike hasn’t happened at this scale since the last WGA strike 15 years ago.