WGA Strike: These Movies and Shows are at Risk

The last strike cost the downfall of numerous films and series

by Tom Hartig on May 3, 2023

Hollywood is in an uproar: The Writers Guild of America – the WGA – has called a strike on May 2. The powerful association includes most of the screenwriters in the American film and television industry. An ongoing strike can have a major impact on current and future productions. Read this article to find out which titles may be affected.

The strike is basically about writers wanting more money for their work, especially if their stories turn out to be a huge hit in streaming. Other issues include secure employment and the banning of artificial intelligence in the writing process. The WGA has been in negotiations for 6 weeks with various providers such as Amazon, Apple, Disney and others. According to insider Jeff Sneider, the talks are rumored to be failing mainly because of industry giant Netflix, which persistently refuses to offer authors better conditions.

These were the consequences of the last strike

The last major writers' strike in the U.S. is still fondly remembered by many today: In 2007, members stopped work for 100 days in order to obtain better working conditions. The consequences were felt by both the industry and viewers: many TV series were canceled or shortened. "Heroes" and "Pushing Daisies", for example, met an early end, while the first season of "Breaking Bad" had to be rewritten and ended after just seven episodes. Movies like Ron Howard's "Angels & Demons" were postponed by more than a year. At that time, TV stations increasingly relied on reality formats, which was simultaneously accompanied by a decline in viewer numbers. Many also complained about a later noticeable loss of quality in many series, because often inexperienced writers had taken over the work of striking colleagues.

These films may be affected

In addition to the long-term consequences, not all of which can now be 100% foreseen, the current strike is already having a direct impact: Popular shows like "Saturday Night Live", "The Tonight Show", "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and many more have been paused indefinitely. In the midterm, the strike may also affect season premieres of series that will be released starting next fall and are currently being written - or maybe not.

Particularly at risk are some future theatrical blockbusters currently in pre-production. Depending on whether work on the script has already been completed, there is a possibility of delays or compromises in production here. These include "Sonic 3", "The Karate Kid 2", "Fast & Furious 11" or "I am Legend 2".

Only recently, plans for the next "Star Wars" movies by James Mangold, Taika Waititi, Dave Filoni and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy were finally specified. Now any further development of the materials must probably be paused for the time being.

Fans of superheroes must also fear: Be it DC's "The Batman 2", "Superman: Legacy" by James Gunn or Marvel films like "Fantastic Four", "Avengers: The Kang Dynasty", "Avengers: Secret Wars" or the "Blade" reboot: they all could be affected. The release of "Deadpool 3", "Venom 3" and "Spider-Man: Beyond The Spider-Verse" could also be delayed in case the strike interferes with script development.

When will the strike end?

According to Jeff Sneider, the strike is expected to last about 30 to 45 days. Naturally, the actual situation could also last longer or just end sooner. We hope for a quick agreement between all parties - for the sake of both the authors and us fans, so that the whole thing does not have too big of an impact on future films and series.