After an exhausting 146-day writers' strike that roiled the entertainment industry, there is a glimpse of hope: The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have reached a temporary agreement on a new contract. The news brought a collective sigh of relief to writers, studios and streamers, and signifies a possible end to one of the longest strikes in WGA history.
The announcement came after several intense days of negotiations. The temporary agreement is a three-year deal that still needs to be ratified by WGA members, but seems to be promising for the roughly 11,500 writers represented by the union. The WGA has assured its members that this is an exceptional agreement that will provide significant benefits and protections for authors across the board.
The road to this tentative agreement has been marked by twists and turns. Negotiations stalled in late August, and both parties issued public statements expressing frustration. However, the talks resumed on September 14 and finally led to a breakthrough last Sunday. This development was greeted with enthusiasm not only by the industry but also by the public, as the strike had disrupted the production of numerous popular television shows and movies.
The ratification process for the agreement is a multi-step process. First, the union's bargaining committee will vote on the agreement, followed by votes of the WGA West executive committee and the WGA East council, both tentatively scheduled for Tuesday. In addition, there will be a union leadership vote on whether to end the strike at a date to be determined pending ratification.
Although the agreement represents an important step towards ending the strike and returning to normality to the entertainment industry, not everything is cut and dried yet. The WGA leadership will have to convince its members of the benefits of the agreement in the upcoming days, pending official confirmation of the deal in early October.
These films & series are affected by the strikes
The end of the writers' strike marks the continuation of pre-production on numerous film projects that are eagerly awaited. For example, the works on James Gunn's "Superman: Legacy" or Matt Reeve's "The Batman 2" can now be completed. The planned "Star Trek" reboot, the "Minecraft" film with Jason Momoa and Pedro Pascal, "Fast and Furious 11" and the game adaptation "Rainbow Six" can also now be further developed. Some Series are also be continued again: Hits like "Stranger Things," "Wednesday," "The Last of Us" and "Euphoria" had to take a break until now, but will now finally be resumed.
The end of the writers' strike is a great relief for at least part of the industry. Above all, however, a large part of fictional formats such as feature films and series remain additionally paralyzed by the actors' strike. "Gladiator 2" was already halfway through shooting, while "Mission Impossible 8" was only missing a few reshoots. "Beetlejuice 2" and "Deadpool 3" also have to wait for production to continue. At least both parties have now announced they will meet again next week for further conversations.
The future of cinema
Industry insiders assume that the studios will in the near future primarily concentrate on continuing existing projects and less on producing new ones. For the latter, there are simply too few resources at the moment, because a lot of things that have been left undone in recent months have to be caught up on in a very short time. In addition, a logistical nightmare is expected after the end of the actors' strike, as everyone will then rush to the available sets, directors and actors at the same time - that is why a fierce bidding war is expected, in which the richest studios will win.
What's next for theaters is written in the stars. The industry had not even recovered yet from the pandemic period until the strikes happened. And now the upcoming gap in movie releases will not help the situation. We're curious to see what impact the situation will end up having on the movie landscape: More movie releases on streaming providers? More low-budget films? New cinema concepts? Whatever it is, we'll keep you posted!