The Writers Guild of America 2023 strike is continuing to make a dent in upcoming Hollywood projects.
The strike began May 2, with multiple productions halting in solidarity with the demonstrations. The WGA strike took effect after six weeks of unsuccessful negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, representing the likes of Netflix, Disney, Apple, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros., Paramount, Amazon, and more. Writers are demanding better pay, residuals structures, and protection against AI as a replacement tool for their work, among other concerns.
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While the strike has not yet affected some upcoming consecutive seasons of fan-favorite shows, “Saturday Night Live” and a handful of late-night talk shows including Jimmy Kimmel, “The Late Show,” and “The Tonight Show” have gone dark. Manhattan picketers have also protested outside filming on the latest season of “Billions,” though the long-running Showtime series has yet to come to a full stop.
Drew Barrymore exited hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards, which pivoted from a live ceremony to a pre-taped presentation on May 7. The American Film Institute also has delayed the 2023 AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute gala for Nicole Kidman, which was scheduled for June 10.
Below, see every production and event postponed due to the ongoing WGA strike.
After pausing production on “Blade,” Marvel Studios has now pushed back the filming start date for “Thunderbolts,” starring Florence Pugh, Sebastian Stan, David Harbour, Wyatt Russell, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ayo Edebiri, and Steven Yeun. “Beef” creator Lee Sung Jin took over writing the film from a script penned by “Black Widow” scribe Eric Pearson. Director Jake Schreier is helming the film centered on the respective MCU antiheroes.
-“Blade Runner 2099” (Prime Video)
The TV series based on the “Blade Runner” franchise has paused production in Northern Ireland due to the WGA strike. Northern Ireland Screen told Screen Daily in a statement that production had spent months “prepping on the ground in Belfast” prior to the strike. The Prime Video show is executive produced by director Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions, along with Alcon Entertainment and Amazon Studios. Silka Luisa (“Shining Girls”) serves as showrunner and wrote the script; Luisa also executive produces. The series is set 50 years after the events of Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049.”
-“The Old Man” (FX)
Season 2 of FX series “The Old Man” starring Jeff Bridges has shut down production in Santa Clarita, CA after completing filming on Episode 4. The series was planning on filming through Episode 5 of the second season, going off of the scripts written prior to the WGA strike. However, the fifth script needed rewrites, now causing production to wrap until the strike is done.
HBO’s streaming Max series “Duster” has suspended production in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Duster” is a period drama executive produced by J.J. Abrams and LaToya Morgan. Abrams and Morgan co-wrote the first two episodes, with Steph Green directing the first two episodes and also executive producing. “Duster” centers on the first Black female FBI agent, played by Rachel Hilson, who recruits a getaway driver (Josh Holloway) to help take down a Southwest crime syndicate in 1972. Keith David, Donal Logue, and Camille Guaty also star in the Warner Bros. Television-produced series.
-“The Penguin” (HBO)
The “Batman” spinoff series “The Penguin” paused production in Westchester, New York after WGA East protesters shut down filming.
-“The Last of Us” (HBO)
Preparation for Season 2 of “The Last of Us” has been put on hold as of May 11. Per a Variety source, the casting team was asking actors to audition reading scenes directly from “The Last of Us Part II” video game due to the lack of scripts for the second season, which is supposed to go into production in early 2024 in Vancouver.
Host Mayim Bialik is stepping away from the game show in solidarity with the WGA strike. However, production on Season 39 will continue with Ken Jennings instead filling in.
–Untitled Ava DuVernay series (Starz)
The yet-untitled Starz series starring Joshua Jackson and Lauren Ridloff has halted production in Wilmington, North Carolina due to the WGA strike. The romantic drama show received a three-year script-to-series commitment from Starz in 2022. Ridloff portrays a deaf woman who falls in love with her polar opposite counterpart (Jackson) and embarks on a tumultuous love affair.
Season 3 of “P-Valley” has officially been postponed, as confirmed by showrunner Katori Hall. “Despite rumors, due to the WGA Strike, filming on ‘P-Valley’ has been postponed,” Hall tweeted. “Like many of my fellow showrunners, I feel as though my writing and producing duties are inextricably linked. We will not be filming until a fair deal is reached.”
Hall added, “I am also a member of the DGA, whose AMPTP contract begins negotiations today. Overlapping issues abound and we shall see how these stories end. As a writer, I strike with the sense of radical dignity, that our work must be valued for the magic it is.”
The “Andor” showrunner confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that he has ceased producing Season 2, despite the scripts already having been completed. “I discontinued all writing and writing-related work on ‘Andor’ prior to midnight, May 1,” Gilroy said in a statement. “After being briefed on the Saturday showrunner meeting, I informed [co-chair of the negotiating committee] Chris Keyser at the WGA on Sunday morning that I would also be ceasing all non-writing producing functions.”
-“Good Trouble” (Freeform)
The fifth season of the hit Freeform series was halted for the day due to WGA strike picketing in Los Angeles. Production is set to run until June.
“The Wire” co-creator David Simon is among the many writer-producers with overall agreements to see their contracts suspended amid the strike. “On the day that HBO called to suspend my deal after 25 years of writing television for them, I was doing the write thing,” Simon tweeted on May 8 with video from the frontlines of ongoing WGA protests.
That news comes after communications from some major studios last week demanding showrunners continue to work, including a note from Disney ABC stating that writer-producers are “not excused” from performing their non-writing duties at this time.
-AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute to Nicole Kidman (previously set for June 10)
IndieWire can confirm that the AFI lifetime honor for Oscar winner Nicole Kidman has been postponed in light of the strike and will not take place on June 10 as planned. “For nearly half a century, the AFI Life Achievement Award has convened artists and audiences in celebration of excellence in the art form,” an official statement reads. “Due to the division in our community at this time, AFI has decided to postpone this year’s event with the goal to offer a celebratory environment worthy of our recipient.”
-“Daredevil: Born Again” (Disney+)
The long-awaited revival of Marvel’s “Daredevil” series with the original Netflix cast for Disney+ has officially been paused. “WGA members on strike set up a sunrise picket at Silvercup East, where they’re supposed to be filming ‘Daredevil,’ but members of the Teamster Local 817 and IATSE Locals 829 and 52 are refusing to cross the picket line,” the WGA East page tweeted. While production is expected to resume per Deadline, the series is reportedly two months into an eight-month shoot for the upcoming 18-episode season.
-“Severance” (Apple TV+)
Season 2 of “Severance,” which is currently in production in New York, has paused as a result of the strike and amid WGA members picketing NYC’s York Studios. In addition to the core cast led by Adam Scott and Patricia Arquette, Season 2 is set to guest star Gwendoline Christie, Bob Balaban, Merritt Wever, Alia Shawkat, Robby Benson, Stefano Carannante, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, and John Noble.
-“A Knight of Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight” (HBO)
“Game of Thrones” creator George R.R. Martin confirmed in a blog post that production on spinoff series “A Knight of Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight” has paused in support of the WGA strike. To note, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” prequel series “House of the Dragon” has continued production on Season 2 as all scripts for the eight-episode were “finished months ago, long before the strike began,” as Martin wrote.
-“Stranger Things” (Netflix)
Series creators the Duffer Brothers took to Twitter to announce that production on the final season of the viral Netflix series has been put on hold. “Writing does not stop when filming begins,” the Duffers wrote in a joint statement. “While we’re excited to start production with our amazing cast and crew, it is not possible during this strike. We hope a fair deal is reached soon so we can all get back to work. Until then — over and out.”
Production on supernatural drama series “Evil” (formerly on CBS before it was moved to Paramount+ in 2021) wrapped Season 4 early at the Brooklyn Stages in New York amid picketers. “Evil has met its match,” strike captain Warren Leight tweeted on May 6. “Studio waited hoping they’d leave, because they didn’t want the headline that 3 guys walking for six hours shut the show down. But that’s what happened.”
Series co-creator Jen Statsky confirmed that Season 3 of the comedy series halted production. “We are devastated to not be with our incredible crew and cast right now, but there was no other option here,” executive producer Statsky tweeted. “Writing happens at every stage of the process – production and post included. It’s what makes shows and movies good. It’s what makes them possible.” Production of Season 3 of “Hacks” began in November 2022 and was briefly paused in February 2023 as lead star Smart underwent heart surgery.
The long-delayed live-action “Blade” reboot starring Oscar winner Mahershala Ali hit yet another production snag amid the WGA strike. The Marvel movie was slated to begin filming in June in Atlanta, but cast and crew members were notified of a delay until the strike ends. Mia Goth co-stars in the film, which is now helmed by Yann Demange after Bassam Tariq exited the project in September 2022 two months before production was supposed to begin. “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto is writing a new script draft using Michael Starrbury’s initial script.
-“Loot” (Apple TV+)
Season 2 of the comedy series starring Maya Rudolph was put on hold due to protests at the Universal Television Bel-Air location.
-“American Horror Story: Delicate” (FX)
The upcoming installment in Ryan Murphy’s horror anthology series was shut down at Silvercup Studios, as WGA members confirmed via Twitter. Kim Kardashian, Emma Roberts, and Cara Delevingne are confirmed to star in the series.
The writing room for “Yellowjackets” Season 3 only lasted for one day before the strike went into effect. Co-creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson announced work on Season 3 was stopping due to the strike. “Well, we had exactly one day in the ‘YellowJackets’ S3 writers’ room,” Lyle wrote on Twitter. “It was amazing, and creatively invigorating, and so much fun, and I’m very excited to get back to it as soon as the WGA gets a fair deal. #1u #unionstrong.”
–“Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
ABC’s Emmy-winning audience favorite was set to begin the writers room on Season 3 before shutting down the day the strike began. Various members of the “Abbott Elementary” team have been seen on the picket lines, with creator-star Quinta Brunson seen holding a sign that said, “AI Can’t Write Tariq’s Raps.”
–“Cobra Kai” (Netflix)
“Cobra Kai” co-creator Jon Hurwitz announced that writers on Season 6 were going “pencils down” in solidarity with the strike.
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