Actors’ strike ends: Which films will resume production

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Production on a number of films and TV shows is set to resume after Sag-Aftra – the union that represents US actors – agreed a tentative deal with Hollywood studios to end a four-month strike.

The shutdown – combined with a separate writers’ strike – disrupted production on a number of films and TV shows, with the release dates for some having to be postponed.

After the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) ended its strike in September, writing for a lot of films and TV shows could resume, but the actors’ strike meant that nothing could be filmed.

With the strike called off, production on franchises such as Deadpool, The Last of Us, Avatar and Mission Impossible can resume.

It also means the return of press junkets and red carpet premieres, which means the cast for big releases such as Dune: Part Two will be allowed to do interviews to promote their films

The strike meant that awards ceremonies, such as the Emmys – TV’s biggest night – were delayed from their usual September slot. The Emmys ceremony will take place in January instead. It means that within the space of a few weeks, the Emmys, Grammys, Screen Actors Guild Awards and Oscars will all take place, making it an unusually busy awards season.

Dune: Part Two

The second instalment of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the sci-fi classic was originally slated for release in November, but was delayed until March 2024. A Warner Bros spokesperson said the delay was because actors could not promote the film while the actors’ strike was ongoing. The new release date also means that Dune: Part Two is out of contention for the awards season next year. The sequel sees the return of Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya in the lead roles. They will be joined by Florence Pugh, Austin Butler and Christopher Walken.

Actors Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya posing for photos

Reuters

Deadpool 3

The third instalment of Marvel’s Deadpool series was originally slated for release on 3 May 2024 – to mark the start of the summer blockbuster period – but production had to be suspended in July after the strike was called. According to Deadline, the film is about 50% complete, and production could resume as early as this week. After the strike was called off, actor Ryan Reynolds appeared to suggest that the film would be released in cinemas in summer 2024 and that a new character will be joining the cast. PTaking to X – formerly known as Twitter – Reynolds posted a picture of a dog in a Deadpool costume with the caption: “Did Dogpool save the day? Not a chance in gremlin hell. But she IS currently causing the Disney plushy merch department nightmares.” The film will also see Hugh Jackman reprise his roles as Wolverine.

Venom 3

Production on the third instalment of the Venom series began in late June in Spain, but was stopped shortly before the Sag-Aftra strike began in July. It was set to be released on 12 July 2024, but according to the Hollywood Reporter, Sony announced on Wednesday – the same day the strike ended – that they have decided to push the release date further back to 8 November 2024. Tom Hardy will reprise his role as the lead character, and the film will feature Juno Temple and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Mission: Impossible

The eight instalment of the Tom Cruise spy thriller franchise was originally going to be released on 28 June 2024. In October, it was reported that the film will now be released on 23 May 2025. The film’s director, writer and producer, Christopher McQuarrie, confirmed in an interview with Collider that at the time the strike was called, they had shot most of the film with the exception of the “the biggest set piece, the central set piece”.

Actor Tom Cruise waving at a crowd during the world premiere of his film

Reuters

Gladiator 2

The sequel to Ridley Scott’s epic is scheduled to be released on November 22, 2024 and will star Paul Mescal, Denzel Washington, Connie Nielsen and Pedro Pascal. Scott revealed in a profile with the New Yorker that during the strike he managed to edit about 90 minutes of the film, including a scene where the hero fights a pack of baboons. Although it is not clear when production on the film will resume, Deadline is reporting that it is a priority for Pascal, which means that projects such as The Last of Us and The Mandalorian would have to work around his schedule on Gladiator 2.

Beetlejuice 2

Director Tim Burton confirmed in an interview with The Independent in September that he was forced to halt production on the sequel to the beloved fantasy horror comedy because of the strike, adding that the film was just “a day-and-a-half” from being done. Warner Bros is set to release the film on 6 September 2024 with Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara reprising their roles from the 1988 original. Wednesday star Jenna Ortega also appears in the film as Ryder’s onscreen daughter.

Wicked

The two-part film adaptation of the Stephen Schwartz musical starring Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande in the lead roles was one of the high-profile casualties of the Sag-Aftra strike. Schwartz confirmed in a July interview with Variety that they had just 10 days left of production for both films. Part one of the film is set to be released on 27 November 2024, while part two is set to hit theatres on Christmas Day, 2025. While no one has officially confirmed if and when production will resume, director Jon Chu posted on Instagram Stories a slightly edited image of the Sag-Aftra logo featuring a witch’s hat and broom with the caption “Excited to get back to work”. Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Yeoh and Jonathan Bailey are also set to star in the films.

Screenshot of Jon Chu's Instagram stories showing Variety front page declaring the end of the Sag-Aftra strike

Instagram

Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse

The end of the actors’ strike means that voiceover recording will resume for the third instalment of the Miles Morales’ Spider-Man adventures. The film, titled Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, was set to be released for Easter 2024, but was taken off the schedule and it is not clear when it will be released.

The White Lotus

HBO boss Casey Bloys announced earlier this month that a number of HBO shows had been renewed and will return in 2025. These included a third season for teen drama Euphoria, a second season for apocalyptic drama The Last of Us, and a third season of the black comedy The White Lotus. The White Lotus’ showrunner, Mike White, confirmed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that the third season will take place in Thailand, and that he hoped to start filming at the beginning of next year, pending the resolution of the actors’ strike.

Stranger Things

Deadline is reporting that Netflix is expected to start filming the final season of the popular sci-fi show in a few weeks. The outlet is reporting that there is now a rush to get actors in front of cameras immediately, but given the lack of content in the pipeline because of the strikes, the streaming service is hoping to ramp up production on the final season of the show. Season five of Stranger Things is expected to be released in 2025.

Related Topics

  • SAG strike 2023
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