These celebrities will promote independent films granted interim agreements, including Michael Mann’s Ferrari, in which Driver depicts car racing legend Enzo Ferrari; Nikolaj Arcel’s The Promised Land, which will star Mikkelsen; and Michel Franco’s Memory, featuring Chastain in her first role since winning an Oscar for her performance in The Eyes of Tammy Faye.
The usual Q&As and post-screening conversations will likely be dominated by filmmakers rather than actors this time around. Directors have already struck an agreement with the AMPTP and aren’t on strike.
Despite the loss of Challengers, a tennis-themed thriller, Venice’s official lineup is far from lacking, featuring hotly anticipated films like David Fincher’s The Killer, Bradley Cooper’s Maestro, Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things, Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla and Wes Anderson’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.
The Toronto International Film Festival’s program is also strong, including films from Taika Waititi, Richard Linklater and Alexander Payne. Films from outside the US, and therefore not impacted by the strike, bolster its slate: Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron will open the festival and Indian director Karan Boolani will premiere his comedy Thank You For Coming.
Negotiations are at a standstill
Meanwhile, little progress has been made on resolving the strike, despite the AMPTP making its first counteroffer since the WGA went on strike in May. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the offer included gains in residuals and protections against artificial intelligence, but was quickly rejected by the union as insufficient.
The union said the studios’ proposal “failed to sufficiently protect writers” and that the AMPTP was seeking “not to bargain, but to jam us”.
Official negotiations have largely stalled since. Meanwhile, no official negotiation has taken place between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP.
Coming soon(ish) to a cinema near you
Since actors and writers are prohibited from participating in promotional campaigns while striking, marketing strategies for new films have crumbled. As a result, Dune: Part Two has been delayed for a second time – it was initially pushed from October to November this year, but is now scheduled for March 15, 2024.
This change caused a cascade of shifts among Warner Bros productions, including Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, a sequel to Godzilla vs. Kong, which will now hit screens a month later on April 12, and Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, now planned for December next year instead of April.
Sci-fi fantasy film Poor Things, starring Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo, was slated for September, but will now hit cinemas in January. However, it will still premiere at Venice later this year.
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