Exclusive: There is real movement in negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the studios for a new three-year contract,
There’s no deal yet, but there’s a framework for a possible deal, we’re hearing.
A SAG-AFTRA source says the two sides are “moving closer” to an agreement as the actors resume talks Wednesday, the 111th day of the strike. Whether that leads to a tentative agreement in the next few days or next week remains to be seen, but an “upbeat” mood is now permeating the virtual talks — “for what it’s worth,” said an industry insider close to the negotiations.
“We’re beyond cautious optimism right now, I would say,” the source added, a word echoed from the talks over the past few days.
SAG-AFTRA Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland and AMTP President Carole Lombardini were back in the driver’s seats today, with small task forces hammering out the details. So, the parties seem to be taking at least some of the thorny topics of AI and so-called “success-based compensation” for actors of successful streaming shows and movies.
“Let’s get it done in the room,” a studio source said of the elegant vibe of today’s talks, which did not include NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley, Disney’s Bob Iger, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO Gang of Four. David Zaslav and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos. Another source added, “I know the big issues are going well, but they keep passing the AI word,” and “it’s going to take a few days.”
Today’s deliberations went into the afternoon, with the parties expecting further talks tomorrow, November 2.
The latest issue comes on the heels of several union unity pickets outside Disney, and Disney’s announcement that it will buy Comcast’s remaining 33% stake in Hulu for $8.61 billion.
As has been the case for the past several days, neither SAG-AFTRA nor AMPTP responded to a deadline request for comment on today’s talks.
Convinced that negotiations are moving in the right direction, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Tresher said in a video posted on social media Wednesday: “I want you to know that I feel a sense of strength, not anger, and I do. A sense of hope, not negativity.”
Even with that optimism, the pain the industry is experiencing from more than six months of strikes is weighing heavily on both sides’ minds, we hear.
The now-settled WGA strike and ongoing SAG-AFTRA action have cost California $6.5 billion and cost 45,000 entertainment jobs. Many television and film workers’ savings are being wiped out or their homes are at risk after already facing the global pandemic.
However, with the WGA strike ending in late September, some studios are poised to resume production on suspended titles, namely, Gladiator 2 And Beetle juiceIt is hoped that the actors will return to work soon.
The fate of several awards-season films has also been in limbo over the past several months, with stars unable to trumpet their wares at film festivals and receptions around New York City and Los Angeles.
One-time stars like Emma Stone (the poor), Paul Giamatti (Holdovers), George Clooney (The boys in the boat), and Rosamond Pike and Barry Keoghan (Saltburn) will be available, many expect the upcoming Oscar season to take on a brighter hue. Filmmakers like Emerald Fennell (Saltburn), Alexander Payne (Holdovers) and Martin Scorsese (Killers of the Flower Moon) are making more efforts to get buzz on their movies, but open them up too; The latter Apple-Paramount title opened to a solid $23 million-plus stateside in a box office market that was hampered by the actors not promoting their films. A24, which is not a member of AMPTP, has seen many of its films Priscilla, Iron Claw, And Dream scene SAG-AFTRA allows its actors to promote films at midterm contracts, festivals and screenings.
Big Hollywood premieres, which can generate wads on social media before a movie even opens, are also eager to end the actors’ strike. New The Hunger Games The prequel has an interim SAG-AFTRA contract due to Lionsgate not being a member of AMPTP, which allowed it to promote its cast. However, Disney/Marvel Studios’ The MarvelsWarner Bros.’ Wonka And Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom If a deal can be struck, the cast hopes to have full attendance at their respective fan events in the coming weeks.
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