Here are the major movies and TV shows affected by the writers’ strike, from Marvel to The Last of Us

·4-min read
2023 Tony Awards will not be televised as planned amid ongoing writers’ strike (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) (AP)
2023 Tony Awards will not be televised as planned amid ongoing writers’ strike (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) (AP)

The effects of the Hollywood writers’ strike, which has been in motion since the beginning of May, are starting to set in, as the production of several major TV shows and films has now been held up.

The mass strike, organised by the Writers Guild of America (which represents around 12,000 writers across the US), has been caused by contract negotiation issues. The Guild and the body representing the big Hollywood studios (such as Netflix, Disney, Apple, Amazon, Paramount, Warner Bros.) negotiate contracts every three years. But this year, writers are demanding more.

The rise of streaming platforms has radically changed the way that writers are hired and work. Rather than being employed by a 20-episode show, or a sitcom, which then gets bought and redistributed on other networks – leading to possible future paychecks – writers now tend to get hired for short amounts of time to work on miniseries exclusively being made for a streaming site. This means that there is just one paycheck, and their contracts are much shorter.

There’s also less career development, as rather than stay on a set for weeks on end, writers only work on shows for a short amount of time. Writers feel like they need to be compensated for these employment changes.

Actors who have picketed in support of the strike include America Ferrara, Tina Fey, Gillian Jacobs, Rob Lowe, Natasha Lyonne, Seth MacFarlane, Alyssa Milano, Chris Pine, Jason Sudeikis, Wanda Sykes, Kerry Washington and Bowen Yang.

Why is it affecting films and TV shows?

Most TV shows and films have long production times, which means there will be plenty of new content coming our way for a long while.

However, productions that still haven’t had the writing side completed, are going to be affected – simply because there literally won’t be the people there to write it. Similarly, soap operas, which have a shorter production time, are unlikely to be able to continue after a couple of months.

Live shows, such as Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert’s late-night chat shows, and SNL, have all been affected by the strike. They went dark – the term for when the shows go off air, and reruns are broadcast instead – at the beginning of the month.

“If you don’t see me here next week, know that it is something that is not done lightly, and that I will be heartbroken to miss you as well,” said Seth Meyers, before his own late-night show went off the air.

Is there a precedent?

Yes. There have been several writers’ strikes in the past, the longest of them being in 2007 – when the strike went on for 100 days – and in 1988 when it lasted for 153 days.

Which films and TV shows are going to be affected?

The production of Stranger Things season five was paused because of the strikes (Courtesy of Netflix)
The production of Stranger Things season five was paused because of the strikes (Courtesy of Netflix)

Now that it’s nearly been a whole month, there’s a better idea of the films and TV shows that are going to be caught up in the strike drama.

Marvel has announced it is pausing production of its films Blade, a film about a superhero vampire hunter, and Thunderbolts, which is about a group of supervillains hired by the government.

It’s also pausing the production of its Disney+ TV series Wonder Man, which will star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Ben Kingsley.

Aziz Ansari’s Liongate-backed directorial debut, Good Fortune, has been indefinitely delayed.

As for TV shows, the teams working on American Dad and Family Guy joined the strike, as did the writers of Netflix’s American martial arts comedy Cobra Kai.

Tony Gilroy, the showrunner of Andor said he had stopped working on the Disney+ show, and writers working on season three of Showtime’s disaster thriller Yellowjackets also put down their pens.

The filming of season three of the HBO Max show Hacks, a series about comedy writers, has also halted, and the production of season five of Stranger Things has also momentarily stopped.

“Writing does not stop when filming begins. 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,” said the Netflix show’s creators Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer on Twitter.

But the list doesn’t stop there: the second season of HBO’s post-apocalyptic drama The Last of Us, which stars Pedro Pascal, is currently on hold. Writing of The Handmaiden’s Tale, which is going into its sixth season, has been paused, as has writing on the third season of ABC’s mockumentary school sitcom, Abbott Elementary.

The filming of Amazon Prime Video’s live-action Blade Runner series has reportedly also been pushed back by around a year.