For the first time since 2007, SAG-AFTRA and WGA members are striking in a combined effort. The double strike has sent late-night talk shows into endless reruns, stopped production of most movies and TV shows, and brought Hollywood to a virtual standstill.
The dual strikes have also prevented stars from promoting their new films. As a result, a number of movies that were set to debut in 2023 have been delayed, including several Netflix films. The streaming giant has delayed the release of six movies, including a sequel to Across the Spider-Verse and an original film starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
There are no words to adequately describe how frustrating this whole situation is for everyone involved. On the one hand, actors and writers have rightly been pushing for higher pay in an era where the need for content has never been greater, and they want assurances that they won’t be replaced by artificial intelligence. But on the other hand, the people in charge of the studios and networks seem determined to grind down the guilds and make them surrender what they consider to be unreasonable demands.
The latest development comes as the two sides remain deadlocked in their negotiations. While the producers have offered a proposal that includes a 230 percent bump in domestic streaming residuals, the writers are pushing for more hefty backend payments for their work. That’s not exactly surprising, considering the fact that the industry is now in its sixth week of strike action and that most writers are running out of money.
But if the studios and streamers really think they can use the current crisis as an opportunity to “break the WGA,” as one senior exec put it, then they’re going to be very disappointed. I’ve heard from multiple studio and streamer sources that the AMPTP, led by Carol Lombardini, is ready to dig in hard this fall before even entertaining another round of talks with the writers.
Netflix is still planning to release a number of movies this year. Among them are the sequel to Across the Spider-Verse, which will star Peter Dinklage as an older Peter Parker and feature a more experienced supporting cast. The company is also releasing original films from such cool filmmakers as Christopher Nolan, M. Night Shyamalan, Taika Waititi, Nicole Holofcener, and more.
But a number of those releases have been moved up to 2024. The most notable delay is the sequel to Across the Spider-Verse, moving it up to April 13 of next year from its originally planned June 7 release date. Other delayed films include the Karate Kid reboot, which moves up to Dec. 13, and New Line’s The Watchers, which has been moved to the summer of 2024 from its originally scheduled Aug. 30 slot. The upcoming sequel to The Joker is also currently unscheduled.