Hollywood Shutting Down Plus Negotiations Re-Opening?

As expected, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike is now shutting down TV shows and halting the start of production on several movies. As such, the "below-the-line" folks, the shooters, grips, gaffers, sound, make-up, caterers and more, are now out of work. But now, Screen Actors Guild members are getting letters that they're services are no longer needed.

Who were the most prominent cast members to receive such letters? Why those on Battlestar Galactica, which is about to premiere its final season in the coming year. What will happen to this show, and others, like Bionic Woman? Plus, there are rumblings that the WGA leadership and studios heads and the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) may be re-opening negotiations very soon.

I'll explain after the jump.

First, let me briefly touch upon what's happening with negotiations re-opening, perhaps as early as the Monday after Thanksgiving (November 26, 2007). All that's know is that the AMPTP and WGA are going to try and hash things out again. Great news! Let's get this strike over with, before too many of the below-the-liners are out of work, and we're suffering from reality shows like "So I Married My Dog" or something (on Fox).

Okay, so what's this about actors' contracts being suspended over the strike? Well, apparently, the studios behind shows like Bionic Woman and Battlestar Galactica (NBC Universal/Sci Fi) are sending special letters that say their contracts are suspended in such a way that the actors won't be able to find work elsewhere until the strike is settled.

This is called force majeure, which allows the studios to do this in the event of something like a strike. You can be assured the actors are upset, and are looking to SAG to help them figure this out, if it's a breach of contract. If that happens, will the actors be free to seek work elsewhere, even after the strike is over? Does that mean the handful of BSG episodes already shot and ready to air, be it for the final season? Let's hope not!

(Other NBC Universal show affected by this include 30 Rock and The Office.)

Let's turn our attention to movies that we here at Screen Rant, and our readers, love and are looking forward to. Because of the writers strike, several movies, whose scripts were delivered before the deadline when contracts expired, still have scripts that aren't up to snuff (who wants to have a bunch of crappy movies coming out?).

These include: Transformers 2, the Da Vinci Code sequel Angels and Demons, and possibly even Justice League (that's okay by me--I hate the idea of a Bale/Routh-less JL movie). Even the Fantastic Voyage remake that was being rushed is now out.

Though I am happy that an X-Files sequel is coming out (sorry, Vic, but I'm pumped), rushed into production because of the strike, I don't really want to see movies with half-baked scripts. So even if we have to wait an extra year or two, when the strike is over and scripts are being re-written to be good, that's fine by me.

So, let's hope the strike ends soon with the studios and writers going back to the table on November 26. I know a lot of writers are frustrated, because they were made to write, not walk the picket line. So, fingers crossed this can get resolved ASAP.

Source:, Hat tip: Deadline Hollywood Daily

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