LOS ANGELES (AP) — Missed your favorite actors? After nearly four months of striking, they’re coming back.
Wednesday’s deal between striking actors and studios and streaming services won’t immediately restore filming to its full swing. That will take months.
But the tentative agreement — which both sides say include extraordinary provisions — means that more than six months of labor strife in the film and television industries is drawing to a close. Soon, tens of thousands of entertainment sector workers could get back to work. And popular franchises, like “Deadpool,” “Abbott Elementary” and “The Last of Us,” will be a step closer to returning to screens.
Hollywood loves a happy ending. The actors strike deal might provide that — though there’s still the chance of strike sequels in the months ahead.
Here’s some of what will happen next:
SO IS THE ACTORS STRIKE REALLY OVER?
Picket lines are suspended and the only rallies on the horizon are the celebratory ones that the actors union is promising.
There are a couple of steps that need to happen before the deal becomes official. On Friday, the national board of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists will review the agreement and could approve it. Then, the agreement’s details will be released and the guild’s full membership will vote on it.
But when striking screenwriters — who started picketing May 2 — reached their deal in September, their guild allowed writing work to resume before full ratification of the contract was complete.
While it’s possible those votes scuttle the deal, the union’s negotiating committee unanimously approved the deal and called off picketing.
WHAT’S IN THE DEAL?
The exact terms of the deal won’t be released until later this week, but a few highlights are known.
The union says the deal is worth more than $1 billion and they’ve “achieved a deal of extraordinary scope” that includes compensation increases, consent protections for use of artificial intelligence and actors’ likenesses and includes a new “streaming participation bonus.”
The negotiation arm of the studios also says the deal includes historic provisions. The Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers said Wednesday the “tentative agreement represents a new paradigm.”
It said the companies are giving “SAG-AFTRA the biggest contract-on-contract gains in the history of the union, including the largest increase in minimum wages in the last forty years; a brand new residual for streaming programs; extensive consent and compensation protections in the use of artificial intelligence; and sizable contract increases on items across the board.”
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s executive director and chief negotiator, told The Associated Press the gains made the long strike worth it.
“It’s an agreement that our members can be proud of. I’m certainly very proud of it,” Crabtree-Ireland told the AP in an interview.
WHAT WILL START FILMING FIRST?
The strike put an immediate stop to “Deadpool 3” with Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman, as well as Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” sequel. Those are likely among the first films that will resume production.
The resolution of the writers strike allowed script work to resume on shows like “Abbott Elementary,” “The White Lotus” and “Yellowjackets.” That head start might help those productions get back on the air sooner once their stars are cleared to work.
Television moves faster than movies, which still face a lengthy editing and promotional process once filming ends.
In recent weeks, more shows and movies announced delays — Kevin Costner’s final episodes of “Yellowstone” won’t air until next November and the next “Mission: Impossible” film also delayed its release.
WHAT OTHER CHANGES WILL I SEE NOW THAT THE STRIKE’S OVER?
Actors, lots more actors, will be talking about their work again. Splashy premieres will resume with their stars, as well.
Movies like “Killers of the Flower Moon” and this week’s big release, “The Marvels,” have been without their stars to promote the film. Strike rules forbid actors from promoting work done for the major studios, which kept Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson and many other actors from doing interviews.
That’s prevented many performers, like “Killers of the Flower Moon” breakout Lily Gladstone, from having some big celebratory moments. (For more examples of performances that didn’t get as much attention due to the strike, check out this list.)
Some projects have gotten exemptions, such as Michael Mann’s upcoming racing drama “Ferrari.” That freed stars Adam Driver and Patrick Dempsey to attend the Venice Film Festival — and also allowed Dempsey to do an interview with People when it named him its Sexiest Man Alive.
But as Hollywood heads into its awards season, expect to see more glamorous red carpet shots and interviews with stars.
WHAT ABOUT AWARDS SEASON?
Well, it’s definitely back on, and it’ll be supercharged.
One of the dual strikes’ ripple effects was to push the Emmy Awards from September into January. It’ll now join the Grammys, the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Oscars in Hollywood’s traditional awards season. Those shows will all air between Jan. 15 and March 10.
Plans for the Emmys, and the SAG Awards, which will appear on Netflix, were in jeopardy as the strike got closer to 2024.
Still in limbo is the Golden Globe Awards, which is trying to reinvent itself after years of scandal, but doesn’t yet have a U.S. broadcast partner.
AFTER TWO MAJOR STRIKES, WHAT’S NEXT?
Another actors strike — this one by video game performers — is possible. Negotiations for that contract are ongoing, but a strike has been authorized.
Actors who work on video games range from voice performers to stunt performers. They, too, have expressed concerns about the use of artificial intelligence in their industry.
The studios in 2024 will also be negotiating with set workers and their guild, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. From building sets to controlling the lighting and even creating effects, IATSE members are crucial to film and television production. They have been severely impacted by the filming shutdown and have turned out on the picket lines to support the writers and actors.
One key element behind the actors and writers strikes has been how much streaming has upended the industry, which could also be a key point in the set worker negotiations.
And other sectors of the industry have moved to unionize while this year’s strikes played out. Some reality television workers are calling for a union, while visual effects artists who work on Marvel films voted to join IATSE.
For more coverage of the actors and writers strike, visit: https://apnews.com/hub/hollywood-strikes/