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The WGA Strike Hits Three MCU Projects
As the ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike nears its second month, three MCU projects have been shut down because of the job action, with the potential for more on the way.
After months of deliberation, the WGA finally declared that its members would take strike action starting on May 2 as the Guild seeks a new deal with Hollywood studios.
This has caused several super-powered projects (both in and out of the MCU) to be halted for the time being, with word from experts being that the current labor dispute “isn’t ending anytime soon.”
The Strike Hits Three MCU Projects
Thus far, three Marvel Studios titles have been put on ice because of the Hollywood writers’ strike, halting production/pre-production and shutting down work on the titles for the red brand.
Other projects have been impacted by the strike, like Daredevil: Born Again production being temporarily halted for a day due to picketers; however, only three titles on the Marvel Studios slate have been completely shut down because of the labor dispute.
The first MCU project to be shut down was Mahersala Ali’s Blade. Only three days after a strike was called, pre-production on the vampire-slaying epic was reportedly put on hold until job action ceases. At the time of the production stoppage, Blade was amid a script rewrite as the film continued its troubled journey to getting in front of cameras.
After the rocky road the project has seen with changing directors, new writers, and production delays, this break may be the best thing for Blade, it just may mean the film does not ultimately hit that September 6, 2024, release date.
After initially being planned to film sometime this summer, Thunderbolts production was put on hold because of the WGA strike. The current plan is for cameras to start rolling immediately after the ongoing labor dispute ends.
With no end in sight for the strike, which could push filming for the comic book team-up later into the year, or (on the extreme end of things) potentially even into 2024. However, with the script for the film finished, the Thunderbolts team should be able to hit the ground running once the strike is finished.
Wonder Man, Marvel Studios’ currently-undated MCU Disney+ series, also has been shut down because of the ongoing job action. The super-powered take on the world of Hollywood from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton was in the middle of shooting when it was put on hold.
Cretton took to social media revealing the project would take a break until the strike was over, remarking that he would be “Marching with [his] tribe,” referencing that he would stand with his fellow writers in their decision to strike.
Most recently, Tom Holland disclosed in early June that development on Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures’ fourth MCU Spider-Man film has been put “on pause in solidarity with the writers.” Spider-Man 4’s script development is still in its early days, so, unlike the projects listed above, the strike’s impact on Spider-Man 4 doesn’t immediately impact any physical production preparation.
What Else at Marvel Studios Could the Strike Impact?
Right now, there are only three MCU productions that have been completely shut down because of the ongoing writers’ strike, but that is not to say they will be the only ones.
Of course, those titles that are currently filming, like Captain America 4, will feel the effects of not having writers on set. While audiences may never know the difference when they sit down in the theater to see the Star-Spangled blockbuster next year, surely, the cast and crew working on set have noticed the difference.
At the time of writing, the project most likely to have production halted that has not yet is Deadpool 3. One would think with cameras now officially rolling on the R-rated sequel, and it would be safe; however, that may not be the case.
Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds has been vocal in saying despite having a script, “the writing process on Deadpool movies doesn’t really end” because of all the improv and on-the-day changes that are made.
This means that the film could get a few days or weeks into production and realize the herculean task of making a movie like Deadpool 3 without writers on the set before ultimately revealing production has been put on hold.
Of course, at this point, it is hard to tell just how big an impact the WGA strike will have on the MCU and its upcoming slate. Progress on anything currently being written (i.e., Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, Fantastic Four, and Avengers: Secret Wars) should be slowed as writers are obligated to halt all union work.
If job action persists, it would not be all that surprising if widespread delays hit the franchise, even more so than what was been before the start of the strike.