After nearly five months, the Writers Guild of America strike has come to an end as the WGA and the Hollywood studios represented by the AMPTP have finally reached an agreement.
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The WGA strike lasted a whopping 148 days as studios dug their heels in and refused to agree to fair terms proposed by the union, that was until this Sunday when a tentative agreement was reached by the WGA and AMPTP. The WGA announced today that their negotiating committee, WGAW board and WGAE Council voted unanimously in agreement to the terms of the proposed deal and voted to end the strike, which will come into play on Wednesday, September 27th at one minute past midnight. This decision will allow writers to return to work as the ratification process continues. However, eligible WGA members will be voting on the terms of the deal between October 2nd and 9th, and if those voters decide to reject the offer, the WGA strike can immediately start once again. The WGA negotiating committee told members that “this deal is exceptional with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.” Key strike issues included fair wages, streaming residuals, protections against the use of Artificial Intelligence, and minimum staffing in TV writers rooms. Some points of WGA deal can be read below.
• In development writers rooms will require at least three writers (including the showrunner) which are guaranteed ten weeks of employment. Once greenlit, TV series with six episodes or fewer will have a minimum of three writers, series with eight to twelve episodes will require five writers and series with thirteen episodes or more will require a minimum of six writers inside the writers room.
• Hollywood Studios must provide the WGA details of a show’s viewership including total number of hours streamed worldwide. Foreign residuals are now based on the streaming service’s number of foreign subscribers, a 76% increase. Movies and series viewed by twenty percent and over of the service’s domestic subscribers in the first 90 days of release get a bonus equal to fifty percent of the fixed domestic & foreign residual. Writers on the larger streamer shows/films would receive the bonuses of $9,031 for a half-hour episode, $16,415 for an hour long episode and $40,500 for a streaming movie with a budget over thirty million dollars.
• Artificial Intelligence cannot write or rewrite literary material, and AI-generated material will not be considered source material. Writers can choose to use Artificial Intelligence, but the studio can’t require a writer to use AI software. Studios must disclose to writers if any materials given to them have been generated by AI or incorporate AI-generated material. The WGA reserves the right to assert that exploitation of writers’ material to train AI is prohibited by the agreement or other law.
I’m sure all reading this are elated that the WGA strike as concluded as it seems the Hollywood studios finally saw sense and agreed to the fair terms proposed by the WGA and its representatives. Hopefully the AMPTP now turns their attention to SAG-AFRA who have been striking since July and are seeking similar terms to the WGA and DGA.
Ahead of the WGA strike which began in May, there were many Star Wars film and TV projects in various forms of development, so I’m sure some of you are asking the question, ‘What does this mean for Star Wars?’. Well let’s look at the projects below and what the WGA strike ending means for those currently in development.
Untitled Rey Skywalker Movie
The untitled Star Wars movie which will see Daisy Ridley return to a galaxy far, far away as Rey Skywalker was due to have a draft submitted by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders) in mid-May according to Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy. The WGA strike began on May 2nd, two weeks ahead of when Knight was due to submit his draft, meaning it was unlikely that finished draft got submitted. Knight was brought onto the project in the Spring following the departure of the original writers of the project, Damon Lindelof (Lost, Watchmen) and Justin Brit-Gibson (Into the Badlands).
Given how close Knight was to having to submit his draft, it’s likely that this film project will be one of the first projects at Lucasfilm to receive significant movements and developments. Past reports pointed towards an April start for filming, but it’s unclear if that timeline has been delayed following the near five months of pencils being down. The untitled film will follow Rey as she forges a new Jedi Academy and is expected to be released in May 2026.
Over the summer it was revealed that Donald Glover, who played Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and his brother, Stephen Glover, had taken over writing duties on the Lando project. According to Jeff Sneider, the Glovers took over the Lando project and began work on it ahead of the WGA strike which began in May and during a livestream, Sneider claimed that Lucasfilm, pre-strike, did not want to slow down on the development of Lando, which caused the switch from Lando’s original writer, Justin Simien (Haunted Mansion) to the Glover’s.
Lando initially started out as Disney+ series, but since the Glovers took over the project, it has morphed into a movie. Given Lucasfilm’s urgency to keep the series in development by switching writers and allowing the Glovers to shape the series into a movie, it’s likely one of the projects with a lot of momentum behind it at the moment, and it’s possible a draft from the Glovers could be submitted by the years end. The Lando film currently does not have a theatrical release date, and is not rumoured to be one of the projects attached to the theatrical release dates that Lucasfilm announced in April.
Ahsoka Season 2, The Mandalorian Season 4 and Dave Filoni’s Mandalorian Crossover Event film
I’m putting these three projects together as they seem quite tied to one another’s development. Dave Filoni’s Star Wars film, which will act as a crossover event for live-action Disney+ series he’s been a producer of such as The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett and Ahsoka, is expected to be released in December of 2026, the second Star Wars movie of that year. However, in a past article from The Hollywood Reporter, it was was revealed that Filoni’s flick releasing within that window was dependent on the production timeline and release of the fourth season of The Mandalorian, and a possible second season of Ahsoka (yet to be greenlit). Those two series would release in advance of the crossover film, but with the WGA strike, development on both Ahsoka season two and the crossover movie have been hampered, likely having a significant impact on the production timelines of both projects.
Jon Favreau stated that he had completed the scripts of The Mandalorian season four ahead of the release of The Mandalorian’s third season. Production was due to begin in late September, but was indefinitely delayed due to both the WGA strike and the SAG-AFRA strike. Though there’s been resolution for the WGA, there’s currently no resolution for SAG-AFRA, meaning that filming on the fourth season is still on-hold indefinitely.
The delay on the production and release of The Mandalorian season four will cause a domino effect and impact both Ahsoka season two and Filoni’s crossover film. Some might think with Filoni’s film being over two years away that there’s enough time, but that’s not the case. Granted there’s enough of a window for Filoni to write, shoot and release his film, but his film is dependent on The Mandalorian season four and Ahsoka season two, with only one of which being written, and neither of which being shot. The last season of The Mandalorian took six months to film and released an entire year after principal photography concluded. Ahsoka season one took six months to film, but had a shorter run in post-production, releasing close to ten months after principal photography wrapped. If both series operate on a similar timeline and we included the crossover movie into this, just for shooting alone, it’ll take around eighteen months for all three projects and that’s not including post-production and release.
Untitled Taika Waititi Movie
Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit) was announced to be writing and directing a Star Wars movie over three years ago in May 2020. Since then we’ve heard various minor updates on the project, with the most recent being that the filmmaker is attempting to crack the middle of the story, according to Waititi himself in May. When the film was announced it 2020, Waititi was co-writing the project with 1917’s Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who was still on the project in the Fall of last year, but since then, Kathleen Kennedy has implied that Taika is now writing the project alone and Jeff Sneider reported that other writers have also touched the Waititi project since it’s been in development.
As mentioned, Taika has been working on the film for three years, a much longer amount of time than the Steven Knight written Rey Skywalker movie expected to release in May 2026. The writer has had a fair amount of time to write his film, and perhaps the near five month long WGA strike has given the filmmaker the time needed to think about how he’ll proceed with his script and could have given him the time needed to figure out that darn middle section.
Untitled James Mangold Movie
The man behind Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, James Mangold, was announced to be working and directing a Star Wars movie in April of this year. The film itself is set to focus on the origins of the first Jedi and the discovery of the force and seems to be an idea that Lucasfilm have been fond of and wanted to develop a film on for quite some time.
Mangold was due to direct his next film, A Complete Unknown, a Bob Dylan biopic, in August and was due to film until later this Fall. However, due to both the WGA strike and SAG-AFRA strike, production on that film was delayed. This is significant as Mangold was due to focus his attention on his Star Wars film once the film and had wrapped, but these plans of course had to be rightfully paused due to the two strikes.
Lucasfilm previously announced three release dates for Star Wars movies – May 2026, December 2026 and December 2027. Earlier in this article we mentioned that the first two dates were being eyed for the Rey Skywalker movie and The Mandalorian crossover event film. The third date, December 2027, is seemingly up for grabs, with films from Mangold, Waititi, and the Glovers likely all vying for that window.
Untitled Shawn Levy Movie
Often the most forgot about of the bunch of Star Wars movies announced and in development is that from Free Guy’s Shawn Levy. It was confirmed in the Fall of last year that Shawn Levy is set to direct a Star Wars movie for Lucasfilm with reports at the time claiming that the writer-director would focus his efforts on the Star Wars project once his next film, Deadpool 3, had wrapped and released.
Deadpool 3 began filming in the Spring, but production was put on-hold in July when the SAG-AFRA strike began. The film is set for a May 2024 release, but due to the significant delays in production, it’s likely that release date no longer sticks. This is significant as the delays on the Deadpool production will hinder the development on Levy’s Star Wars film, which he shared he just started developing before the WGA strike.
As mentioned, Waititi, Mangold and the Glovers Star Wars films are likely are chasing that unclaimed December 2027 release date, and the reason I didn’t include Levy on that list is that it appears his project is the least developed and the furthest away.
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