While the Writers Strike impacted dozens of productions, many of them here in the U.S., there were a handful of movies with locked scripts that pressed forward in the hopes that SAG-AFTRA would be able to reach an agreement with the AMPTP. As we now know, that did not happen, and the Actors Strike has also had swift repercussions — this time around the world.
For example, Marvel’s Deadpool 3 had been in production in London, but that multiverse movie starring Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman is now on pause, as are two other high-profile sequels, both from Paramount — Ridley Scott‘s Gladiator 2 and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two.
Deadpool 3 is the first film slated to hit theaters, with a release date of May 3, 2024, but can Kevin Feige and director Shawn Levy really have that movie ready in less than 10 months given the uncertainty of the strike? I doubt it, and I don’t understand the point of rushing it. Marvel already wisely held off on rushing Blade into production because the script wasn’t quite ready.
“We recognize how much you’ve all done on your specific projects and it’s disappointing when carefully laid plans have to shift, but constant change is the nature of the production business, and our teams are no stranger to unexpected challenges and rising to meet them,” Marvel’s Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito wrote in an email to staffers. “We deeply appreciate all your efforts to make the best of the situation, and we can all hope that a new agreement will be finalized soon so we can resume the great work we have in process.”
The Deadpool sequel isn’t the only Disney movie that the Actors Strike will affect, as the live-action Lilo & Stitch remake, which has been filming since April, has also been impacted.
Meanwhile, the eighth Mission: Impossible movie is on the calendar for June 28, 2024, and though production was already on a pre-planned hiatus so that everyone could promote Dead Reckoning Part One, director Christopher McQuarrie won’t be able to resume filming when he expected, so don’t be surprised if that movie gets pushed to Summer 2025. It might even benefit from increased demand should Tom Cruise take a summer off at the box office.
On the other hand, given how fast Ridley Scott tends to work, I’d be surprised if the Actors Strike caused a delay for Gladiator 2, which is slated for Nov. 24, 2024. The director is already halfway through filming the sequel, which had been filming in Morocco and Malta, and stars Paul Mescal and Denzel Washington.
Elsewhere, Sony started production on Venom 3 in late June in Spain, but that Tom Hardy-led sequel has been forced to shut down, as has Apple’s F1 racing movie starring Brad Pitt. It’s widely assumed that several Warner Bros. movies that have been actively shooting, such as Tim Burton‘s Beetlejuice 2 and Clint Eastwood‘s Juror #2, will also shut down.
In preparation for a potential strike and the havoc it would wreak on the schedules of major stars with multiple commitments, some studios front-loaded production to shoot all of some actors’ scenes knowing that they may not be available in the fall, according to THR.
Indeed, I know that studios are already making plans to resume production at a later date, with multiple contingency plans in place depending on when the Actors Strike actually ends and people are allowed to go back to work.
Per SAG-AFTRA, actors continue to book commercials, though they can’t lend their voices to studio-made animated movies. 2024 releases that could be impacted include Kung Fu Panda 4 (March 8) and Despicable Me 4 (July 3), plus Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, though as THR notes, that sequel is all but assured to move off its current release date of March 29.
Stay tuned to Above the Line for more updates on both the SAG-AFTRA strike and the WGA strike.