Now that the SAG-AFTRA strike has ended, there are two things left to do: 1) an all-out awards season bonanza, and 2) figure out what the f-ck the 2024 film slate is going to be.
Let’s talk about the latter. Some films, like Dune: Part Two, have already staked out their 2024 territory, as that filmed moved from November 2, 2023, to March 15, 2024, months ago. But other films were just pulled off various studios’ schedules without any replacement dates announced, a sign that distributors were waiting to see how long the strike(s) went on, and also how much non-acting and writing work could be done during the work stoppages, which would hopefully help keep post-production workflows tight and limit the number of major shakeups to the 2024 calendar.
For instance, Deadpool 3 was in strike limbo, certainly not going to hit its original May 3, 2024 release date, and just yesterday, with the strike now over and production schedules firming up, Marvel and Disney announced a slew of release date changes. Deadpool 3 is moving back to July 26, 2024, pushing Captain America: Brave New World further back to February 14, 2025 (sounds like a romantic Valentine’s Day movie to me!). Marvel anti-hero team-up movie Thunderbolts moves from December 2024 to July 2025, and the troubled Blade remake is shifted to November 2025. Barry Jenkins’ Lion King prequel is moving back from July to December 2024.
Meanwhile, Twisters, the sequel to the 1996 film Twister, starring Glen Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, and Anthony Ramos, is still tracked for its July 2024 release date, though it was only a few weeks into production when it shut down due to the strike, they have something like two months left of filming.
The thing Deadpool 3 and Twisters have in common is intensive VFX work. Twisters isn’t moving—so far—and Deadpool 3 is only moving back two months. As such, I do not see how they avoid creating crunch conditions for VFX workers, who are already overworked and over-stressed (not to mention underpaid). Director Shawn Levy was reportedly working with the Deadpool 3 footage they shot before the SAG strike began in July, editing and doing some VFX work, but a July release still creates a tight timeline.
Slightly more forgiving is the timeline for Venom 3, which has moved from July to November 2024, a full four-month delay. They got some footage in before the shutdown, though how much is left to do is in question, and again, this is an effects-heavy film that will require time in the post-production pipeline. What I’m saying is, VFX workers were already pushing to unionize, and creating a bunch of crunch conditions across the industry isn’t going to help the already stressed pipeline or the stressed workers. We just got through two major strikes in Hollywood. IATSE and the Teamsters are set to negotiate next year. Might the VFX workers join them?
Also, please note we will be dark on Monday, November 13 in observance of Remembrance Day.
Live long and gossip,