By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood February 8, 2008 at 7:39AM
While much of the entertainment industry is holding its breath that on Saturday thousands of members of the Writers Guild in NY and LA will signal thumbs up on the tentative deal that could end the strike, there are rumblings that it could go either way. UPDATE: Here's Dave McNary's latest report on the details of the deal, posted at 3:38 AM Pacific Time (!).
The folks who are assuming that they can get back to work on Monday may want to cross their fingers that the WGA members actually like the deal. Some critics of the new agreement say it's not much of an improvement on the DGA pact. "A lot of people want victory," is how one industryite put it. Here's more in Variety.
The NYT goes behind the scenes on how the impasse in the writers strike was resolved by a screenwriter, an agent and a studio chief, among others.
Logic would dictate that now is a very good time for everyone to get back to work. Staying on strike at this point will only prolong the town's misery and keep enormous numbers of people idle and without pay--with no guarantee of a better deal down the line.
While there are whispers that WGA West prexy Patric Verrone is not happy with the deal and could scuttle it, (UPDATE) in a message to the WGA, he and WGA E prexy Michael Winship cited the ‚Äúenormous personal toll on our members and countless others‚Äù and said it was time to end the strike:
‚ÄúAs such, we believe that continuing to strike now will not bring sufficient gains to outweigh the potential risks and that the time has come to accept this contract and settle the strike,‚Äù they said. ‚ÄúMuch has been achieved, and while this agreement is neither perfect nor perhaps all that we deserve for the countless hours of hard work and sacrifice, our strike has been a success.‚Äù
Others say that Verrone will take the temperature of the room Saturday and go with the flow. Which only makes sense.
There could be an argument for the writers joining forces with the Screen Actors Guild to hold out for a better deal. SAG has been historically happy to go on strike. And with no negotiations under way, SAG is a long way off from making any progress on a deal. That contract expires on June 30.
Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, it might have made more sense for the writers, directors and actors to hang tough together and fight the good fight as a unified front. Now it looks like the writers may settle for what they can get now, having paved the way for the directors' settlement, and the actors, who can shut down production again, could well go out and demand an even better deal.
The TV side of the biz has been more impacted than the movie side. Here's the LAT.
The status of writers going forward is still dicier than ever.
And Pamela McClintock details the status of projects readying for production in the wake of the strike. A full list is on the jump.
"Confessions of a Shopaholic" -- filming
"A Christmas Carol" -- next week (Jim Carrey; 11/6/09 release)
"Bedtime Stories" -- February (Adam Sandler; 12/25/08 release)
"Witch Mountain" -- late March (Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson)
"The Proposal" -- late March (Ryan Reynolds-Sandra Bullock; 2/13/09 release)
"When in Rome" -- mid-April
"Hannah Montana Movie" -- mid-April
"High School Musical: Senior Year" -- mid-April
"Surrogates" -- late April (Bruce Willis)
"Prince of Persia" -- late July (7/10/09 release)
"The Lovely Bones" -- Peter Jackson directing (3/13/09 release)
"The Soloist" -- filming
"I Love You Man" -- March (1/16/09 release)
"She's Out of My League" -- March or April.
"Star Trek" -- J.J. Abrams directing (12/25/08 release)
"G.I. Joe" -- mid-February (8/7/09 release)
"Shutter Island" -- early March (Martin Scorsese directing, Leonardo DiCaprio-Michelle Williams)
"Year One" -- filming (Jack Black-Michael Sera; 6/19/09 release)
"Seven Pounds" -- March (Will Smith; 12/12/08 release)
"Julie & Julia" -- March (Amy Adams-Meryl Streep)
"Taking of Pelham One Two Three" -- March (Denzel Washington-John Travolta; 7/31/09 release)
"The Day the Earth Stood Still" -- started shooting. (Keanu Reeves; 12/12/08 release)
"They Came From Upstairs" -- started shooting (1/16/09 release)
"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" -- started shooting (Hugh Jackman; 5/1/09 release)
"Max Payne" -- late February (Mark Wahlberg)
"Marley and Me" -- March (Jennifer Aniston-Owen Wilson; 12/19/08 release)
"Bride Wars" -- March.
"Night at the Museum 2: Escape From the Smithsonian" -- May (Ben Stiller; 5/22/09 release)
"Cirque de Freak" -- Feb. 19
"Fast and Furious 4" -- Feb. 20 (Paul Walker-Van Diesel; 6/5/09 release)
"The Wolfman" -- early March (Benicio Del Toro; 2/13/09 release)
"Land of the Lost" -- early March (Will Ferrell; 7/17/09 release)
"The Boat That Rocked" -- March 3
"Duplicity" -- March 10
"Public Enemies" -- March 10 (Johnny Depp-Christian Bale-Marion Cotillard)
[Originally appeared on Variety.com]