The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has been on strike since May 2 after the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) failed to meet their reasonable terms during contract negotiations. This strike halted a number of film and television productions, although some continued until the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) was also forced to go on strike by the AMPTP after the studios failed to meet their reasonable terms, even after the negotiation deadline was extended to July 12.
SAG-AFTRA officially went on strike July 14, and since then, a number of film and TV productions have been paused while we wait for the AMPTP to return to the table to negotiate in good faith. Given that sources close to the AMPTP recently said that they are willing to “break the WGA” and wait for them to essentially starve and become homeless before returning to the table, it doesn’t seem like either strike will end anytime soon.
While there are several thousand writers, actors, and crew members who are affected by this work stoppage, the strikes are necessary to ensure that studios and streaming services don’t continue to take advantage of the people who create the movies and TV shows we love and that they’re able to at least make a living wage for the hours they put into entertaining us. There are many productions that have been affected by the AMPTP’s greed, but here are the biggest movies and TV shows that have been paused.
Stranger Things 5
At the beginning of the writers’ strike, Stranger Things creators and showrunners The Duffer Brothers announced via Twitter that production would not begin on the fifth and final season until a fair deal was reached with the AMPTP. Even though the brothers also serve as producers for the series, they acknowledged that writing doesn’t stop just because the scripts are finished. And they’re right! Any last-minute changes to location, dialogue, or anything else that’s written in the script while on set count as writing, and when you’re on set sometimes you realize that what’s written in the script doesn’t translate in the scene as well as you’d hoped. That’s why it’s important to let writers be involved on set (and why the WGA is fighting for more entry-level writers to get paid for time on set).
The Last of Us season 2
Production on the highly anticipated second season of HBO’s The Last of Us has been halted since the beginning of the WGA strike. After the first season received 24 Emmy nominations, series co-creator Craig Mazin told Deadline that he finished writing the first episode of season 2 before the strike and that he knows “what the whole season is.” Mazin believes that the series could still meet its scheduled release window if the AMPTP agrees to the guilds’ fair terms soon, but that they’ll have to push things back if things go on for much longer.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 3
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is another show that has been on pause since the start of the writers strike, with production on the third season originally set to begin on May 2. But it’s not just the third season of the show that’s affected. Now that SAG-AFTRA is on strike as well, the Strange New Worlds actors aren’t allowed to promote the show in person or via social media. As part of the strike, SAG-AFTRA members have been asked to not promote work, both past and present, that has been made for any of the studios they’re striking against.
Daredevil: Born Again
Though Disney tried to continue filming Daredevil: Born Again during the writers strike, production was halted first on May 10th and then indefinitely in mid June after IATSE and Teamster crews refused to cross the WGA picket line in New York City. The series was only about three months into an 8-11 month shoot and was scheduled to premiere in 2024. It’s all but a certainty that the release of Daredevil: Born Again will be delayed further because of the AMPTP.
Filming for the Marvel series Wonder Man, starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and created by Destin Daniel Cretin and Andrew Guest, was similarly stopped by WGA picket lines in Los Angeles after the writers’ strike began in May. Production was eventually halted with plans to resume once the AMPTP meets the guild’s reasonable terms.
The Mandalorian Season 4
According to showrunner Jon Favreau, all The Mandalorian season 4 scripts had been completed by February of this year, with rumors pointing to a production start date in September. But THR reported in May that production was still expected to be delayed away from that start date due to the WGA strike. Now, with SAG-AFTRA also striking, expect very little movement for the rest of the year on The Mandalorian.
Andor season 2
Despite being a series explicitly about rising up against oppressive forces, the second season of Andor continued production through the first couple months of the WGA strike. Series creator Tony Gilroy was originally continuing to fulfill producer duties on the show in the first few days of the strike, but officially stepped away from the show entirely on May 7th.
Now that SAG-AFTRA is on strike as well, production on Andor has come to a halt for the most part. According to Deadline, the series seems to be moving forward with production on scenes without SAG-AFTRA actors, as some cast members are repped by the UK’s acting union, Equity, and legally aren’t allowed to strike in solidarity. It’s the same loophole that is allowing the next season of House of the Dragon to stay in production, even if there are cast members who want to stand in solidarity with their fellow actors. But even if production continues on Andor with only Equity cast members, it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll be able to finish the show entirely until the AMPTP comes back to the table and meets the fair terms of both unions.
Deadpool 3 started filming at the end of May, almost a month into the WGA strike. Ryan Reynolds, who is also credited as a writer for the film, was seen filming in costume with Hugh Jackman up until the SAG-AFTRA strike was called. Production is now halted.
We’ll have to wait a little longer for the next chapter of the Eddie Brock and Venom bromance as production has been paused on Venom 3 because the guilds would have better luck negotiating with an alien symbiote than the AMPTP. Kelly Marcel, who wrote the script for Venom 2 as well, wrote the threequel script alongside Tom Hardy. Marcel is also set to direct the movie and production on the film began in Spain at the end of June, during the WGA strike, but was finally paused by the AMPTP’s failure to reach SAG-AFTRA’s terms.
Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 2
Though the film was already on a planned hiatus so that the cast could promote Dead Reckoning Part 1, the SAG-AFTRA strike means that filming will be unable to resume until a fair deal is reached. The Mission Impossible cast, including Tom Cruise, are also barred from promoting the film further during the strike.
Pre-production for the MCU’s Blade reboot has been rocky, with original director Bassam Tariq stepping down from the film in Sept. 2022 and rumors that star Mahershala Ali was unhappy with aspects of the script circling the film since March. However, despite the film’s bumpy start, filming was still scheduled to begin in June before the strikes. Pre-production (which includes script edits) has since been paused.
Like Blade, Marvel’s Thunderbolts was paused while still in the late stages of pre-production. Filming was also set to begin on this team-up movie in June, but was ultimately stopped by the WGA strike.
Reportedly days away from wrapping when the SAG-AFTRA strike began, production on the epic two-part film adaptation of the Broadway musical Wicked has been halted until a fair deal can be reached. The film stars Ariana Grande, Cynthia Erivo, Jonathan Bailey, Bowen Yang, and Michelle Yeoh and was written by Winnie Holzman and Stephen Schwartz.
Ridley Scott’s long-awaited Gladiator sequel has been halted by the SAG-AFTRA strike. The film, starring Paul Mescal and Pedro Pascal, was halfway through filming when the strike was called. Even though it has taken 20 years for this sequel to materialize, won’t the film be more enjoyable knowing that a bunch of computer generated background actors weren’t inserted into the fight scenes without their consent?
Star Wars Movies
While none of the three recently announced Star Wars films had confirmed release dates, none of them can move forward until the strikes end. That means the AMPTP will make fans wait even longer for their next trip to the galaxy far, far away on the big screen. You can read more about all the Star Wars projects currently affected by the strikes here.
We’ll keep this article updated as we learn more.