Gladiator 2, White Lotus, and More: Here Are the First Victims of SAG Strike
It looks like Barbenheimer will be the only major premiere for many months to come.
The strike by the Writers Guild of America East and West is now in its third month. The union members demand that the major production companies and streaming services, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, improve their wages and working conditions and address a number of issues that have long been ignored by the industry.
Despite the fact that many popular shows and movies have already been delayed due to the strike, the producers have been able to ignore the writers' demands so far. But now that SAG-AFTRA, the union representing actors, TV hosts, and other media personalities, is about to hit the picket lines, the industry is in danger of shutting down completely for many months to come. And the casualties of the upcoming actors' strike may include a number of anticipated IPs.
First and foremost, the industry professionals are concerned with the fact that companies are cutting writers and actors out of production, actively replacing their labor with AI, and working with streaming services is simply not profitable for them because they aren't getting adequate residuals for popular shows. SAG-AFTRA members, whose deadline to negotiate with the AMPTP expired at midnight Wednesday, are waiting for the union to officially call a strike, and it's now only a matter of days, if not hours.
The WGA strike has already resulted in the postponement, hiatus, or cancellation of a huge number of shows. For example, production on Severance, Stranger Things, Saturday Night Live, and many others have been suspended.
With actors on the picket lines, production on domestic and international projects whose scripts were completed before the WGA strike will also be suspended.
Speaking of feature films, the first to go on indefinite hiatus is Ridley Scott's highly anticipated project, the sequel to his acclaimed Gladiator, which began shooting in June 2023. Tim Burton's upcoming sequel Beetlejuice 2, which just started shooting this week, will also suffer.
Deadpool 3 is also likely to be delayed: while Disney and Marvel were clearly hoping that the WGA strike would not affect the process, as the script was largely finished, the actors' strike will certainly halt filming. Clint Eastwood's Juror #2 and the upcoming Mortal Kombat 2 will also be affected.
Speaking of TV shows, the black satire The White Lotus, which was to be filmed in Thailand and was already on hold due to the writers' strike, is likely to be postponed indefinitely, as most of the cast is American. The SAG strike will also affect Andor, one of the most intriguing dystopian shows in the Star Wars universe: although filming began in November 2022, the show is still in production and reshoots will simply not take place.
The same holds for FX's TV adaptation of Alien and even Emily in Paris, an international project with American cast members.