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Hollywood strikes: Which productions are affected?

July 14, 2023

The union representing more than 150,000 screen actors in the United States has announced it will be joining screenwriters in their ongoing strike. TV series and film shoots have been halted.

A film still from 'Stranger Things': A group of young people in 1980s style stand in front of a van with an ad that reads 'Surfer Boy Pizza'.
Filming of the final season of popular Netflix series 'Stranger Things' has been paused due to the strikeImage: Netflix/AP Photo/picture alliance

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), the union representing around 160,000 film and television actors and media personalities in Hollywood and worldwide, announced it was formally joining the Writers Guild of America on the picket lines as of midnight Thursday.

The Hollywood writers have been on strike since early May.

The historic double strike has brought the US TV and movie industry to a halt. The last time the two unions were on strike simultaneously was in 1960, when actor — and later US president — Ronald Reagan led the protests.

The unions' demands include establishing a system of residual payments from streaming platforms, as well as protections against the use of content generated by artificial intelligence.

How the strike impacts film and TV fans

TV shows that have already been affected by the writers' strike include "Andor," "Stranger Things," "The Last of Us," "Yellowjackets," "The Handmaid's Tale," "Blade Runner 2099" and "The Mandalorian," as well late-night shows such as "Saturday Night Live" and "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."

Film and TV projects that have already completed their shooting and are now in postproduction are not directly affected, but other productions have already postponed their release dates, including the sequel to "Spider-Man: No Way Home" and Disney's "Blade" remake, whose scripts were not completed before the writers' strike.

The Marvel film "Captain America: Brave New World" reportedly wrapped its shoot just before the actors' strike started — though reshoots are often part of the production process in such films, which is why the release date has already been pushed back.

Film still from 'Deadpool': a superhero holding weapons stands on guard on a city roof amid skyscrapers.
The shoot of the third installment of the popular 'Deadpool' series, starring Ryan Reynolds, has also stoppedImage: Twentieth Century Fox/dpa/picture alliance

Other productions of highly anticipated movies forced to pause due to the strike include "Beetlejuice 2" from  Tim Burton, Marvel Studios' "Deadpool 3," Ridley Scott's "Gladiator 2," the martial arts sequel "Mortal Kombat 2," the Tom Cruise action movie "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part Two" and "Paddington in Peru," the third film in the beloved Paddington Bear franchise.

Many more projects have been affected by the walkout, including international film and television productions with US stars. 

No more red carpet appearances

According to strike rules, actors must not only stop all production work, from auditions to shooting, but are also barred from promoting their work on podcasts or at premieres.

The "Oppenheimer" cast prematurely left the London premiere of the film on Thursday, a few hours before the actors' strike officially started.

Next week's other big release, "Barbie," held its UK premiere on Wednesday, where lead star Margot Robbie said on the red carpet that she was "absolutely" in support of the strike.

Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy and Florence Pugh: Actors in premiere outfits posing next to a panel showing a nuclear explosion and the film title 'Oppenheimer'.
Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy and Florence Pugh appeared briefly at the 'Oppenheimer' premiere on July 13, but left earlyImage: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP/picture alliance

The ban on promotion will also have an impact San Diego's Comic-Con, and the red carpets at upcoming film festivals in Venice and Toronto will lack the glitz of Hollywood stars.

The Emmy Awards, which announced their nominations on Thursday, are considering postponing their ceremony on September 18.

How long will the strike last?

No one knows how long it will take for the actors' and screenwriters' unions to strike a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the trade association representing Hollywood studios and streaming platforms in collective bargaining negotiations with entertainment industry trade unions.

 A previous writers' strike in 2007 went on for 100 days, right into 2008. The screenwriters' guild longest strike, in 1988, lasted 153 days.

The last time the actors' union staged a major walkout was in 1980, and it lasted more than three months.

Experts think this latest fight could drag on for months. 

Edited by: Brenda Haas

Portrait of a young woman with red hair and glasses
Elizabeth Grenier Editor and reporter for DW Culture