Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the studio!
With the writers' strike finally over, Hollywood must have thought that it was business as usual. However, where there are workers, there are unions. Where there are unions, there are strikes. Where there are strikes, there are signs of upheaval.
Now it's time for the Screen Actors Guild to renegotiate their contracts in June, and just in case they have the same problems as the Writers' Guild, the studios have decided to try and protect their tentpole films without having to cancel them or pay through the nose to bring them to the big screen.
And it would seem that some of Screen Rant's favorite upcoming films are present in the contingency plans!
First up: Michael Bay's Transformers 2.
It would appear that Michael Bay was able to keep the Transformers sequel on track for a June 2009 release by hammering out a storyline before the writers strike. Now he has the writers, Ehren Kruger, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci locked in a hotel room beavering away on the script! In case Bay's three writers can't knock out the script fast enough
"If there is a strike, we shut down, but shutting down isn't that big a deal. You make accommodations, you make a deal with vending houses on equipment and on the stages where you are shooting. You hope for the best, but you can't be incapacitated by the possibility that there will be a strike. We've got to get this town back to work. I can't imagine anyone wants another strike, we're all tired. Hopefully clearer heads will prevail."
Next up is the follow-up to The DaVinci Code, Angels and Demons starring Tom Hanks.
The film was originally delayed because of the writers' strike, as I wrote about previously. Now to make sure that Sony makes a huge amount of cash, the studio has made plans to shoot all the exterior scenes for three weeks starting on June 3rd. All interiors and studio-based shooting will then take place. If the strike does take place, then they will wait. If it is averted, then they will move straight into the exterior work.
Screen Rant "favorite" Justice League is also a film that Warner Bros. will have ready to go if the strike doesn't happen. Currently Kiernan and Michele Mulroney are working away re-drafting their original script, getting ready for a July shoot. Could they be writing out Batman and Superman? I hope so. At the very least, this will now mean the Superman Returns sequel will be released in 2010.
Crazy, I've just penciled something into my calendar for 2010!
The long in development Tooth Fairy is a film that Twentieth Century Fox has set for an August start, depending on whether or not the strike happens. When I say that the Tooth Fairy is long in development, I'm not kidding. Arnold Schwarzenegger was attached almost 20 years ago. Now The Rock, or Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will star in this family comedy, if you can believe it. The film will first go through an extensive pre-production phase before filming.
Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, is another film that will try and work its schedule around the strike (if it takes place).
According to trade bible Variety:
"(The) Crew was hired with the following deal: in the event of a strike, the paychecks stop, but nobody will be force majeured and everyone will get a plane ticket home from the Albuquerque set. The crew has agreed to fly back within 48 hours of a SAG settlement".
The sets will be left standing, waiting for the strike to end. That way the Brothers Warner won't have to pay the crew over the duration of the strike.
All this news is strictly hypothetical. There have been movements to try and avert the strike already, as most of the lower level Hollywood players can't afford to be out of work. Also, the studios don't want any more problems trying to bring their films to the big screen.
I'd bet on the strike not taking place, but I'm also the man who bet that 3000 Miles to Graceland would have a $20 million opening weekend. So, anything could happen.
I'm just hoping that Justice League finally falls apart.