Following 118 days of shutdowns causing billions of dollars of damage to several economies, a tentative agreement has been reached between the actors’ union and the alliance of studios.
Finally, the strikes that have caused so much damage to the US film industry (not to mention our own here in the UK) seem to be over.
It’s been over a month since the striking writers’ guild finally came to terms with the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) and agreed to an improved deal. As you’ll no doubt know by now, SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ guild was also striking and the hope was that a quick deal would also be reached with the actors’ guild to get everybody back to work.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and although the rhetoric over the past week has certainly softened on both sides, at one point it looked like the strike might be extended into next year.
Thankfully, that scenario has now been avoided, and once the agreed deal is ratified, everybody can get back to work.
Whether a deal has been struck in time to save the majority of Hollywood’s 2024 movie slate remains to be seen, but we’ve all watched in dismay over the course of this year as a string of films have been postponed.
While such desperate measures will hopefully be a thing of the past, the clamour for finite resources (crew, studio space, actors) as Hollywood grinds back into production mode may yet mean that more delays could happen.
Case in point: even though production is set to roar back to life within weeks, that hasn’t stopped Sony from delaying Venom 3 by four months.
Still, there’s reason for optimism, too: hopefully, lots of projects will be announced over the coming months. Now that writers have been drafting scripts for a few weeks and actors can once again sign deals, we could be in for a glut of exciting news with lots of films coming down the pipeline.
The twin strikes are reported to have caused around $6.5bn worth of damage to the Southern California economy, not to mention connected economies across the world, including here in the UK where our own film industry’s dependence on US investment has seen things grind to a halt in lots of studios across the country.
Naturally, all eyes now will be focused on the deal that SAG-AFTRA was able to reach with the studios as it is the particulars of the new three-year agreement that will determine whether the strike can be deemed as a success or not.
The deal will be seen by members of the actors’ guild on Friday (ahead of a ratification vote) so you can expect reactions to emerge over the weekend.
Given the length of the strike and the amount of time it has kept people from earning a living, it will need to be a pretty handsome deal to avoid kicking up a stink among the acting fraternity. Still, at least now we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief and cross our fingers that after a very rocky few years, hopefully the path ahead for the US film industry is a much, much smoother one.