Writers Strike Comes to an End?

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Good morning: In today’s edition of The Industry we look at:

A tentative deal to end the WGA strike…will it fail? The Kubrick reboot with Pesci, and Pearlman, a new Dan Harmon show, and sleepwalking with parasites.

Let’s go!

WRITERS STRIKE COMES TO A CLOSE

A David and Goliath battle ended Sunday night after 146 days.

On one side WGA members protested oppressive salariesnon-existent residuals, and studio threats that their work would be replicated by AI.

On the other side the AMFTP. Cue the Bernard Herrmann score.

AMFTP leaders including Disney’s Bob Iger, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery & the CCO of NBCUniversal radified deal points with union leaders at the AMFTP offices late Sunday.

The marathon five-day deal, which was briefly stalemated over the weekend as WGA leaders struggled to shore up loopholes that would allow studios to use AI to supplement writer duties and cut their members out of jobs, appears to be resolved.

While the union now faces the arduous task of convincing its members to ratify the proposal, those who have felt the crushing weight of unemployment took a collective sigh of relief.

A message posted from the official WGA Twitter account read,​

We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional – with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.

​For now, picketing is suspended. But that doesn’t mean WGA writers can pick up their pens. In fact, WGA sent out explicit regulations for members during this interim period.

As the agreement with the AMFTP inches towards finalization and WGA leadership votes are likely on Tuesday, members will soon be briefed in detail.

As stand-comedian and late-night TV show writer, Josh Gondelman remarked:​

“This is probably the happiest I’ve ever felt on Yom Kippur.”

For More:

Hollywood writer’s strike explained. E.G. How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Residuals and Love the Broken System.

The strike halted talk shows, and some late-night producers have already emailed their staff to return as early as October 2nd.

SAG members hope the WGA win will accelerate negotiations for their members.

THE INDUSTRY NEWS

UFOs + A Quiet Place = No One Will Save You. That was probably the pitch when scribe turned director Brian Duffield (Jane Got A GunDivergent) got his second feature as a director greenlit by 20th Century Fox. The film features traditional “grey” aliens and very little dialogue.

Joe Pesci and Ron Perlman are in the Kubrick remake. Before you start dreaming of Pesci chugging milk in the Korova Milk Bar or Perlman swinging an axe at The Overlook you’ll have to rewind the clock to his first motion picture: Day of the Fight.

This 12-minute documentary, released in 1951, centered on a middleweight boxer. Jack Huston’s 2023 remake, received positive reviews at the Venice Film Festival, in part due to Michael Pitt’s hard-boiled performance.

Boom goes the dynamite. The last of the action heroes, Statham and Stallone seem to be Expendable as the 4th incarnation of their series tanks at the box office.

Rick & Morty creator Dan Harmon, has a new series on Fox: Krapopolis. This marks his first foray back into network TV since he was ousted from the ill-fated 4th season of Community.

Already renewed for three seasons this comedically absurd rendering of Ancient Greece will delight Harmon fans with portrayals of Athena with Daddy issues, flamboyant Hermes, and kinky centaurs.

THE ACTOR SPOTLIGHT

Dump money

Paul Dano watched 100 hours of Roaring Kitty footage for Dumb Money. Far from fetishism, this research was for his latest starring role in the upcoming Dumb Money. This film explores the chaos and the camaraderie around the pandemic meme stocks, GameStop. Makes us wonder what Dano’s process was for talking to a dead body in Swiss Army Man

Russell Brand seems calm in his latest IG video in response to the sexual assault allegations that led to the de-monetization of his YouTube channel and the elimination of his special on Paramount Plus.

Michael Caine stars in The Great Escaper. A heart-warming tale about a 90-year old D-Day veteran who sneaks out of the house to travel to France. As someone who does a great deal of sneaking, all I can say is, “Well played, Sir Michael Caine.” Caine raised some eyebrows during an interview where he decried the use of intimacy coordinators on set.

TECH SECTION

George Lucas was in talks with IMAX for the original Star Wars but passed citing concerns about converting theaters and integrating optical effects.

Spielberg solved the problem of talking to aliens 46 years ago in Close Encounters of the Third KindSharing the stage with his long-time composer John Williams, at Cinematheque’s “50 Years of Music and Movies,” Spielberg recounted that his father always impressed upon him that math and music were similar.

As he was finishing the script, Spielberg got it in his head that the aliens communicate

“By imitating notes that the ship sends… but I didn’t know what those notes were… Johnny figured it out.

INDIE FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT

A24 - talking heads movie

The latest A24 film is a re-release. Stop Making Sense, Jonathan Demmes’ 1984 Talking Heads concert film is set to take a 1.4M cumulative gross at the box office. David Byrne’s “big suit” is thought to be partially responsible for driving ticket sales.

The Smile – Just Keeps SmilingOkay, it’s not called that. But the sequel to The Smile, the 17M indie darling that grossed 217M at the box office and ran a guerilla marketing campaign of people manically smiling at sports arenas is getting a sequel. And that’s something to smile about.

The most prolific producer of African American indie cinema, Charles D. King (Sorry to Bother YouThey Cloned TyroneJudas and the Black MessiahFences) just received 90M dollars in investment funding.

“A big part of where we’re headed now is finding production partners and opportunities to tell stories on a global scale with people of color and local language productions.”

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Squid Games in Real Life. Really. Netflix created a reality show version of the hit Korean series which will feature 456 people competing for $4.56M. No more pulling up Google mid-episode for the exchange rate. While pretending to freeze during Red Light, Greenlight contestants faced literal freezing temperatures of 26 degrees Fahrenheit resulting in medical emergencies.

Shah Rukh Khan’s latest Bollywood film reaches 113 million. Khan stars as a would-be Robin Hood, drawing attention to pressing social issues through his crimes.

Sleep Walking never looked so creepy. Bong Joon-Ho’s former AD, Jason Yu has been making the rounds at TIFF and Fantastic Fest with his first feature Sleep (trailer). A wife, Jung Yu-mi (“Train to Busan”) becomes increasingly concerned as her husband, Lee Sun-kyun (“Parasite”) begins to have increasingly violent sleepwalking episodes. You can’t even lock your doors when the horror is coming from the person sleeping next to you.

Today’s edition of The Industry was written by: Gabriel Miller & Clarke Scott.


THIS DAY IN FILMMAKING

1947: 2nd Cannes Film Festival ends with six different awards presented including Best Musical for Vincente Minnelli’s” Ziegfeld Follies” and Walt Disney’s “Dumbo” Best Animation.

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