Film directors wanting to get their product out in time to make their projected due dates for studios are scrambling to finish and even begin certain projects earlier than scheduled with a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) strike beginning to loom large in the not-to-distance future.
The SAG contract with movie and television producers is set to expire on June 30 and with current talks over “new media” issues going no where, Hollywood is preparing for a long, hot and dry summer season of filming that could lead to a very cold and bitter fall with nothing new for theatrical or television release. At least on the TV front many returning and new shows already have several of their fall episodes in the can and ready for their debuts in September and October. Not so, when it comes to big screen releases.
With that in mind some directors, with the full support of the studio system are forging ahead anyway and have begun shooting their big budget movies knowing full well that they could soon be hit by a work-stoppage from their actors. One such film is the highly anticipated fourth movie in the Terminator saga starring Batman’s Christian Bale as the futuristic machine killing resistance fighter John Connor. Director McG moved up its shoot date and began filming in New Mexico this past Monday. “Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins” is still looking for May 22, 2009 as its release date.
Another director holding his breath is Michael Bay, who is still hoping to get in an early June start for the second “Transformers” film.
Steven Spielberg is taking no chances, however, and stopped work on his next film which is to revolve around the trial of 1968 anti-war activists, according to Reuters. He, and other directors, are in a holding pattern for the time being and waiting to see if their actors will be available to continue working after June 30.