After extended negotiations didn’t end in a brand new contract with the AMPTP (Alliance of Movement Image and Tv Producers), the Writers Guild of America declared a strike, placing to a halt any writing work for guild members. This can have a big effect in Hollywood and throughout the leisure trade and will additionally affect the Star Trek Universe.

WGA strike

The WGA has been in search of modifications that embody how manufacturing corporations and studios pay out residuals for streaming. In keeping with the WGA, modifications within the trade over the previous decade have resulted within the median author’s inflation-adjusted pay taking place 23%. The writers are additionally involved a couple of pattern in the direction of smaller writers rooms. In a press release launched this morning, the WGA referred to those modifications as an “existential disaster writers are dealing with,” explaining “We should now exert the utmost leverage doable to get a good contract by withholding our labor.”

Picketing begins at this time, with a schedule for places in Los Angeles and New York posted by the Guild; they embody Paramount International—Paramount Photos in Hollywood and two CBS studio places in Los Angeles. In keeping with union guidelines, no WGA members are allowed to do any writing (together with rewriting) and even negotiate for brand spanking new writing work in the course of the strike. Some productions will instantly shut down, resembling late-night speak exhibits; nonetheless, different productions can proceed utilizing accomplished scripts. Whereas different leisure unions are voicing their solidarity with the WGA, all present contracts include no-strike clauses, so no different unions might be becoming a member of them. The Teamsters Union has suggested members they’ll honor picket traces, which is protected below contract.

Unusual New Worlds author (and WGA strike captain) Invoice Wolkoff confirmed himself a organising the picket line at CBS Tv Metropolis in Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon

The final WGA strike ran for 14 weeks between Nov 2007 to February 2008. The J.J. Abrams 2009 Star Trek film was filmed on the Paramount lot in Hollywood throughout that strike even because the studio was being picketed. A WGA strike in 1988 had a big effect on the second season of Star Trek: The Subsequent Technology, together with leading to a shortened season.

Author picketing Paramount as Star Trek (2009) was being filmed (Getty)

Star Trek set to climate the strike

The strike simply began, so it’s nonetheless unknown how lengthy it can final and the way a lot of an affect it can have on the trade. This strike comes as no shock to the studios, who’ve been planning round it and banking as many scripts as doable. Whereas the 2023 slate of Star Trek exhibits anticipated on Paramount+ gained’t be impacted, there may very well be an affect sooner or later, but it surely relies on the challenge…

Little to no affect on animated exhibits

The WGA contract solely applies to live-action and have movies, so there needs to be no affect on the 2 animated Star Trek exhibits. Writing for season 2 of Prodigy was accomplished in 2022 and writing for the fifth season of Decrease Decks seems to nonetheless be underway, however each animated Star Trek exhibits fall below The Animation Guild (TAG) contract, which continues to be present. The fourth season of Decrease Decks is already in post-production and is due this summer time. The second season of Prodigy will debut later this 12 months with the primary 10 episodes, the second batch of ten possible arriving in 2024.

Prodigy co-executive producer Aaron Waltke confirmed his solidarity with WGA writers whereas spelling out that Prodigy is roofed below the TAG contract.

Unusual New Worlds season 3 may doubtlessly shoot throughout strike

The WGA strike does apply to writers engaged on live-action Star Trek tasks. Present energetic tasks formally embody the 2 sequence Unusual New Worlds and Starfleet Academy, and the Part 31 TV-movie. As of at this time, no new writing for any of those exhibits might be performed till a brand new contract is negotiated. A variety of Star Trek writers have taken to social media to point out their assist for the strike and the WGA, like Unusual New Worlds co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers.

The strike may have no affect on the upcoming second season of Unusual New Worlds, which wrapped up manufacturing final 12 months and is about to debut on June 15. The strike have an effect on the just lately introduced third season of the present, which was anticipated to enter manufacturing this summer time. Writing started earlier than the official announcement and it’s fairly doable many (if not most) of the ten scripts for the season have been accomplished. Though the Unusual New Worlds writers (and all Trek TV writers rooms) are based mostly in Los Angeles, the present is produced in Canada, so there most likely gained’t be any picketing on the studio. WGA members who’re additionally producers can proceed to work on exhibits in that capability; trendy Star Trek exhibits typically have author/producers on set to work with the solid and crew, so that may proceed though they’d not have the ability to make any modifications to any scripts. If this on-set flexibility is necessary to Paramount, they might delay manufacturing till the strike ends, particularly if they’re additionally nervous about further strikes (extra on that later).

Though they could be voicing solidarity with the WGA, members of the solid could be anticipated to work throughout a strike if Paramount selected to begin manufacturing anyway. The actors’ union SAG-AFTRA suggested members to “proceed to work” on tasks that have been in manufacturing in the course of the strike. The union instructed members may stroll the picket traces to point out their solidarity throughout non-working hours. Unusual New Worlds star Anson Mount confirmed his solidarity on social media, saying he stands with the WGA.

Discovery season 5 ought to nonetheless arrive in early 2024

Manufacturing on the fifth and remaining season of Discovery wrapped up in late 2022 and Paramount+ has set an early 2024 debut. The one wrinkle is the deliberate prolonged season finale, which can now embody some further scenes to make it work as a sequence finale. Like Unusual New Worlds, Discovery is shot in Toronto. Because the WGA strike was extremely anticipated, it’s possible Paramount+ ensured a script for any new scenes was already full to keep away from any points in case of an prolonged strike. The reshoots have been introduced two months in the past and are possible already full, and if not would possible have already got been written and able to be shot effectively forward of the season 5 debut in early 2024.

Just like the casts of different exhibits, Discovery actors are displaying their assist for the WGA. Anthony Rapp tweeted his solidarity earlier at this time.

Pencils down for Starfleet Academy

The opposite live-action present will really feel the affect of the strike. The writers’ room for the just lately introduced Star Trek: Starfleet Academy sequence was nonetheless energetic, in order that work will cease. Different improvement work may proceed with WGA members working of their capability as producers solely. Manufacturing for the Academy present was set to begin in Canada in early 2024, and so they may doubtlessly follow that schedule by making up time after the strike ends except it drags on longer than the one in 2007. Within the case of a protracted strike, the manufacturing schedule would transfer again, which might possible push the discharge, though Paramount+ has not but set an official goal anyway.

Exhibiting her solidarity (and Trek nerdiness), Starfleet Academy author (and voice of Mariner in Decrease Decks) Tawny Newsome shared a tweet from Deep House 9 author Robert Hewitt Wolfe who posted a picture from the employees’ rights-themed DS9 episode “Bar Affiliation.”

Unclear affect on Part 31 film

One other just lately introduced challenge is the Star Trek: Part 31 TV-movie occasion starring Michelle Yeoh, which has been in improvement since 2019, just lately pivoting away from a sequence right into a Paramount+ made-for-streaming TV-movie. Paramount is hoping to enter manufacturing later this 12 months. Author Craig Sweeny was a part of the unique writers’ room arrange again in 2020. For a movie challenge to get a inexperienced mild, it normally requires a accomplished script draft, particularly so it may be budgeted based mostly on set items and required visible results, so it’s possible different work on this challenge can proceed in the course of the strike. If the script wants rewrites or updates, that work must wait. Nevertheless, on account of Michelle Yeoh’s busy schedule, Paramount might be extremely motivated to maintain to their plan or threat shedding the Academy Award-winning star.

Star Trek 4 function movie?

In contrast to 2007, J.J. Abrams shouldn’t be prepared to enter manufacturing on a Star Trek film. He has been touting the script for his fourth Trek function movie, however there may be nonetheless no indication if or when Paramount Photos will transfer forward on the challenge, which has greater points to cope with than a WGA strike.

No creating new tasks… like Legacy

Conferences concerning new tasks are disallowed below WGA’s strike guidelines, which cowl any new pitches for function movies or scripted tv. Whereas there wasn’t any indication Paramount+ was prepared to maneuver ahead on the event of any new Trek exhibits, this might put a pause on any potential talks between Picard showrunner Terry Matalas and Paramount concerning a doable “Star Trek: Legacy” spin-off.

As for Matalas, he additionally shared his assist for the strike on Twitter.

Issues may worsen

Any brief strike may have a negligible affect on Star Trek, however the longer the strike goes on, the larger the danger to approaching productions with Unusual New Worlds season 3 the almost definitely to be impacted. All of the studios are below strain from Wall Road to chop prices, so getting an settlement to extend labor prices is an uphill battle. However those self same studios are additionally reliant on a gradual circulate of latest scripted content material.

The large concern in Hollywood proper now’s this may very well be simply the primary of a number of strikes. The actors guild (SAG-AFTRA) and administrators guild (DGA) contracts each finish on June 30. Each unions have voiced their solidarity with the writers and have lots of the identical points. If both of these unions goes on strike, all manufacturing would stop till new contracts may very well be negotiated, and that will affect manufacturing on season 3 of Unusual New Worlds if Paramount goes forward with taking pictures this summer time. Paramount could wait to begin any new productions till offers with the administrators and actors are performed, which may occur even earlier than the WGA strike is resolved. If the strike goes longer, it may even intrude with the Part 31 film as effectively.

It is a creating story and TrekMovie might be monitoring issues so examine again for updates.


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