The WGA strike officially ended at midnight Wednesday. Huzzah! That doesn’t mean Hollywood is fully back in action; the SAG-AFTRA strike is still ongoing. But it does mean studios, networks, and streamers can at least start pre-production before the AMPTP gets right with the actors guild. And guess what their main priority is? Bringing back all those shows and movie franchises people love so darn much.
Per Variety, instead of brand-spanking new fare, Hollywood is fast-tracking big shows, like House of the Dragon and Abbott Elementary and The Last of Us, and big movies, like Superman: Legacy and the sequel to The Batman and the movie take on the ‘90s computer game Minecraft. “The priorities seem to be things that were all but greenlit but stopped because of the strike,” one insider said. “They need to figure out how they finish what they started.”
Also in the fast lane are, of course, movies that had to shut down mid-production when the WGA began their strike:
As soon as SAG-AFTRA’s work stoppage ends, production can resume on several major movies, including the sequel to “Gladiator,” which was more than halfway done filming when cameras stopped rolling in Malta in July as the actors started picketing. There’s “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part Two,” a globe-spanning adventure that still had some scenes to shoot, as well as “Beetlejuice 2,” Clint Eastwood’s “Juror No. 2,” and “Deadpool 3,” which, in some cases, only had a few days of work remaining. Also stalled was “Twisters,” a sequel to the 1996 tornado thriller, starring Glen Powell and Daisy Edgar-Jones as storm chasers. That project was roughly a week into production in Oklahoma before it shut down.
There’s one big problem, though: With so many productions going back to work at the same, there’s bound to be logistical nightmares. Each will be fighting for soundstages, for crew, for big stars, etc.
“As soon as the strikes are over, everybody is going to want to go after the same five directors and four stars,” one production chief explained. “It becomes a supply-and-demand question. And whereas before the strike the shooting schedule was staggered, everybody is going to be putting a ton of movies and shows into production at exactly the same time.”
In the meantime, networks still need to put stuff on-air. J.D. Connor, an associate professor of cinema and media studies at USC, speculates some will try out “wild little experiments,” as CBS did when they recently aired Yellowstone re-runs, to massive ratings.
As for movie theaters, which have already been starving for new releases after the height of the pandemic: well, it doesn’t look like Hollywood has figured that one out just yet. Maybe they’ll just do a redo of “Barbenheimer.”