One of the biggest news this past week is the Writers Guild of America announcing a strike in Hollywood, demanding better salaries and a better workplace environment for writers on television and films. Contrary to popular opinion, writers in Hollywood, together with VFX artists and other workers in technical areas, are severely underpaid by film studios and publishers. Tight deadlines, stressful work environments, pressure from studios to create perfect content in the fastest way possible, and the expansion of streaming platforms that only “bloated” TV and film content in the last ten years didn’t help the already rooted issue.
Writers Guild of America decided to organize the strike across Hollywood by demanding better work conditions and payments for the writers, especially regarding re-aired content that has been paid to writers by literal cents. Yes, cents. Some writers posted their payments for working on TV projects on social media, and they are abysmal. This is the first strike since 2007, but the arrival of new media pushed writers across Hollywood to express their dissatisfaction with how they are treated for their hard work.
At this moment, thousands of Hollywood writers, technicians, producers, and actors are protesting against big studios demanding better work conditions and salaries. This led to some big projects being paused until WGA, Hollywood studios, and publishers to make a deal. We have already heard many big Late Night shows have been paused for the foreseeable future because of the strike.
Other huge projects include Saturday Night Live, Yellowjackets, Cobra Kai, Abbot Elementary, and House of Dragon, and it seems that Marvel isn’t excluded from this list of big names. Let’s see which Marvel projects will be paused or stopped during the WGA strike.
Blade – 2024
One of the biggest news yesterday was the pause on Blade due to the WGA strike in Hollywood. For Marvel, Blade has been in development hell since we saw Wesley Snipes carry the mantle of vampire killer in three movies twenty years ago, and the new phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe made us hopeful that the development of Blade will finally be in full progression. However, despite acquiring a great actor, two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, the movie’s production has suffered tremendously over the past four years.
After presenting Mahershala Ali at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, the Covid-19 pandemic stopped many projects from developing. When Marvel Studios finally started the development of the movie with the director Bassam Tariq, the production stumbled upon another problem.
Director Bassam Tariq left the production in the Fall of 2022, which led to a new director Yann Demange had to organize everything a week before the supposed start of the filming. Because of that setback, the Blade movie release date has been pushed to late 2024. The WGA strike stops the production of Blade amid a new writer Nic Pizzolatto (True Detective), working on the script and rewriting some details.
This setback could potentially move the movie even further from its release date, severely impacting the future of the MCU.
Fantastic Four – 2025
We have already covered the potential casting and new writer added to the production of Fantastic Four on Comic Basics, and it seems that the project that will be instrumental for Phase Six of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will continue to develop without any huge setbacks.
However, since we know that writers were supposed to still work on the script for the movie and start filming around January of 2024, the WGA strike doesn’t favor Marvel Studios at all.
If WGA strikes continue, there is a huge possibility of the Fantastic Four shooting moving to another date, which only postpones the movie’s development and release. Kevin Feige wanted this movie to be the best we had in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but we might wait longer for the movie to be created and released.
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty – 2025
Also known as Avengers 5, The Kang Dynasty already has enough problems in its development and future since Jonathan Majors had problems with the law in the last few months, which prompted rumors of the potential recasting of the instrumental character for the future of the MCU.
However, this WGA strike will only worsen things for Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios, who are banking on this movie as the biggest one after Avengers: Endgame. If this movie is delayed further, the rest of Phase Six will have massive moves of dates, which doesn’t bode well for the MCU.
Avengers: Secret Wars – 2026
Of course, the sixth Avengers movie is also in jeopardy in terms of scheduling and development despite being much later than the rest of the MCU projects, but there are still concerns.
If we include every single project released before these two big Avengers movies, which are supposed to be the peak of each new MCU phase, rescheduling and delays are inevitable (like Thanos) in that case. This is all we know about this project, but it’s worth including it in this discussion.
Thunderbolts – 2024
Thunderbolts have had some discouraging developments in the last few months. In March, it was announced that the creator of Netflix’s Beef, Lee Sung Jin, will replace Eric Pearson as the writer of the movie.
In one interview, the showrunner of Beef said that he is essentially rewriting the film’s script, which is supposed to start shooting in June of 2023. This might be a blessing in disguise for the Thunderbolts movie, and it seems that fans welcomed Lee Sung Jin with open arms to the project, but the writer strikes could get in the way of developing the script. We still don’t have the official news, but they will be released soon enough.
Echo and Daredevil: Born Again – 2023/2024
In the case of the Echo TV series, today’s rumors confirm that the Disney+ show will be released as scheduled at the end of 2023. Daredevil: Born Again is currently being shot, and it is expected to be in production until November 2023.
Why am I mentioning these two projects? Simply because Marvel Cinematic Universe projects are notorious for changing scripts and adding non-scripted moments to the final product. Black Widow and even Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 had scenes that weren’t planned but were added to the movies.
This means that the WGA strike will prevent writers from changing scripts mid-shooting, which is something Marvel Studios capitalized on for years, despite the poorer quality of the same projects. It seems that releasing MCU projects consistently every six months isn’t doable anymore, and it seems that this strike might be a blessing in disguise for the future of some projects.
Allegedly, Daredevil: Born Again already plans for the second season, and it seems that the showrunners will have to wait for that one.
Wonder Man and Agatha: Coven of Chaos – 2024
These two Disney+ TV series are in mid-production, and if the WGA strikes continue, we might see more delays. Agatha: Coven of Chaos has been pushed back multiple times, but it started shooting in January 2023. However, knowing Marvel Studios and their deadlines, it seems that Agatha Harness’ show will be pushed once again if the WGA doesn’t make a deal with production companies in Hollywood.
Wonder Man started filming in April of 2023, which is promising, but once again, knowing rewrites during the development of these projects, it seems that Wonder Man might be delayed, but we will wait and see what will happen next.
Loki and Secret Invasion will not be affected by strikes
Secret Invasion TV series will be released as expected in June, while Loki season two rescheduled its date from September to October. Some fans speculated it was due to problems with Jonathan Majors, but Marvel Studios confirmed they are moving the release date due to “storyline issues.” However, it seems that Marvel needs more time to “fix” something by editing more aspects of the show, which is normal for these projects.
Kang won’t be recast, which means we will watch Jonathan Majors as Kang in Loki season two, but his future in the MCU is still unsure.
Nevertheless, the WGA strikes really affected the releases of TV and movie projects in Hollywood, including the biggest “players” in the industry, Marvel and Disney. However, if that means that the demands of WGA will improve the work environments of Hollywood writers and increase the workers’ paychecks, then this strike will be more than successful.
The well-being of writers and workers in Hollywood could possibly kickstart the better quality of the projects we are watching, and at this point (besides GotG3), Marvel needs good and quality content to progress the Marvel Cinematic Universe and engage their audience if they want for the future phases to succeed.