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SAG-AFTRA actors’ strike ends as union and studios make a deal

Deadpool 3, Gladiator 2, Venom 3, and Beetlejuice 2 all set to resume filming immediately

SAG-AFTRA members chant outside Paramount Studios on the final day of the actors’ strike Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Oli Welsh is senior editor, U.K., providing news, analysis, and criticism of film, TV, and games. He has been covering the business & culture of video games for two decades.

The Hollywood actors’ strike is over, and the race to resume production on next year’s biggest movies and TV shows has begun. Actors union the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) announced late Wednesday that it had reached a tentative agreement with the studios represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

The strike has been suspended as of 12.01 a.m. PST, Thursday Nov. 9, ending a gruelling 118-day labor action that overlapped with a 148-day writers’ strike as unions faced down studios over streaming residuals, the rise of artificial intelligence, and more. The deal was approved unanimously by SAG-AFTRA’s TV/Theatrical Committee, and will now go to the union’s national board for approval before a ratification vote.

The full terms of the deal won’t be published until it has the board’s signoff, but SAG-AFTRA gave a preview in a public statement. The union valued the three-year deal at over a billion dollars and said it included minimum compensation increases, “unprecedented” protection from “the threat of AI,” and a streaming participation bonus. Pension and healthcare caps have been increased, there is an “outsize” compensation increase for extras, and there are “critical contract provisions protecting diverse communities.”

“We have arrived at a contract that will enable SAG-AFTRA members from every category to build sustainable careers,” the union said. “Many thousands of performers now and into the future will benefit from this work.”

The AMPTP also hailed the deal in a statement. “Today’s tentative agreement represents a new paradigm,” the studios said. “It gives SAG-AFTRA the biggest contract-on-contract gains in the history of the union, including the largest increase in minimum wages in the last forty years; a brand new residual for streaming programs; extensive consent and compensation protections in the use of artificial intelligence; and sizable contract increases on items across the board.”

With both the actors’ and writers’ strikes resolved, Hollywood production can now resume. Most shoots won’t begin in earnest until early 2024 due to the holidays, but Deadline reports that there’s a scramble to resume work immediately on a number of major movies that had been paused mid-shoot, in order to preserve 2024’s lucrative summer schedule.

Deadpool 3, Venom 3, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2, and Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice 2 are all set to resume shooting “this week or in the very near future,” according to Deadline. (Beetlejuice 2 apparently only has two days of shooting left.) Alongside this raft of comic-book anti-heroes and legacy sequels, Apple’s Formula One movie starring Brad Pitt and directed by Top Gun: Maverick’s Joseph Kosinski is set to restart production, and 93-year-old Clint Eastwood reportedly has around 12 days of shooting left on his courtroom drama Juror No. 2.

Acting in movies and TV shows isn’t the only work Hollywood’s actors have just been released into. With awards season already in full swing, expect a deluge of actors to hit the campaign trail in the next few weeks, promoting their movies and shows on every chat show imaginable and in every magazine profile available.