The last time there was a big strike in Hollywood was in mid-2007-2008. During that time, the Writers Guild of America work stoppage lasted 14 weeks and profoundly impacted the industry. Running from November 5 to February 12.
The strike saw the complete shutdown of shows such as Saturday Night Live, which went without a new episode for the duration of the strike, laying off many employees. Late-night television hosts were placed at the frontlines of the strike and pushed to make hard decisions regarding the well-being of their non-unionized staff, with most returning to their shows without writers after an extended hiatus. As the strike went on, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, and David Letterman paid their non-striking staff out of their pockets in the face of layoffs.
AVClub even reported that several scripted shows, such as Bryan Fuller’s Pushing Daisies, were taken out at the knees by the strike. Fuller’s whimsical procedural show starring Lee Pace was given a full-season order just days before the strike. With only nine of the 22 allotted episodes written by the time Nov. 5 rolled around, Fuller had to cut the season short and edit the ninth episode into a much-too-soon finale. When the spring ushered an end to the strike, the show had not been able to return with the same momentum and was subsequently canceled by ABC.
What Is Happening Right Now?
Hollywood is again facing a major strike from the Writers Guild of America. The Deadline predicts that the current looming strike by the WGA could start as soon as midnight PT Tuesday when the current WGA contract with the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers expires.
The Direct also informed that the guilds and the studios are locked in negotiations and insiders have stated that the two sides are still far away from a deal. With the WGA’s contract set to expire at exactly 11:59 a.m. on Monday, May 1, and no extensions of that deadline in the cards, it could very well be that the writers will walk. It seems that Deadline’s prediction will prove correct.
On the other hand, The Directors Guild of America is also set to begin renegotiating their contract with the studios in May. And while the DGA is considerably more powerful than the WGA, if they were to undergo a work stoppage on top of the writers doing the same, the impact on Hollywood’s business would be cataclysmic.
But all hope is not lost. There’s a real possibility that an agreement can be reached, even as the clock continues to tick down to midnight tomorrow.
Can Marvel Films Be Affected by This Major Strike?
With a potential writers’ strike looming, Marvel Studios’ business could be impacted by its upcoming MCU movies. If a strike were to happen, no Hollywood writer would be permitted to do their job until a new contract was signed with the studios.
With many MCU films (and series) currently in the works, a strike would throw Marvel Studios and Disney for a major loop, as writers often rework scripts even while a movie is in production.
What Marvel Movies Are Affected?
According to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “everything new is going to be affected in the event of a strike.” Below are the six MCU movies from Marvel Studios that could be affected should the Writers Guild of America strike this week…
Thunderbolts (July 26, 2024)
The upcoming MCU film Thunderbolts, focusing on misfit heroes and former villains, is scheduled to kick off principal photography in June. However, even if that point finishes the script, a hampered shoot would occur if the WGA strike is still ongoing.
Blade (September 6, 2024)
The Mahershala Ali-led Blade has suffered numerous production delays since it was originally announced during San Diego Comic-Con 2019. With filming set to begin in late May, a strike would either result in another pushback or force the movie to begin shooting without any working writers. Given that the film already has a release date, the latter avenue would probably be pursued.
Deadpool 3 (November 8, 2024)
Thousands of fans don’t want Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool 3 to be negatively impacted but if the Writers Guild strikes. However, nothing could likely be done with the movie filming in May, especially considering that the guild has sent a clear message to its members: Don’t cross picket lines.
Fantastic Four (February 14, 2025)
The long-awaited Fantastic Four reboot might have fans waiting a little longer. A strike would affect the film’s shooting schedule, even though it doesn’t kick off until early 2024. The screenwriting process takes time, and Marvel Studios wants to get the FF’s debut as good as possible before the cameras roll. If no one can develop the script further, the film’s release date could be pushed back.
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (May 2, 2025)
The fifth film in the Avengers series, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, would probably suffer the same fate as Fantastic Four during a strike, but it may be far enough out that no harm would come to the screenplay.