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Movies Pushed Back ‘Decades’ After Writer Dispute

In 2023, more and more films are being delayed due to The Writers Guild of America strike, but how many more changes are we going to see before the year ends?

Credit: Paramount/ Marvel Studios/ 20th Century Studios

Perhaps 2023 isn’t a great year for Hollywood’s film industry, as studios are switching up their timelines, forcing fans to wait up to a decade for certain titles.

With the list of delayed titles growing, the industry must be struggling to keep up with demand. And with the delays, we won’t see the outcome until the coming years. 

With that said, we have seen this before, back in 2007.   

And we were in a worse position back then; I can assure you.  

2007 led to many pre-mature releases, with less-than-quality performances and even worse writing. Safe to say, writers should stick to acting and leave the writing to the professionals.  

Why are we seeing so many delays?  

With the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike in full swing, many studios would rather delay a title by nearly a decade, than sacrifice the quality of the production.

Crowds of members of the writers guild in a picket line, New York city
Writers Guild of America strikers in a picket line in Times Square, New York. Credit: Xackery Irving/ Shutterstock

The growing list of delays is already extensive, with the strike having led to the rescheduling of around 18 titles so far. This includes each installment of the “Avatar” franchise, and the temporary shutdown of “Mission: Impossible 8,” which was only 40% through filming.  

However, the delays aren’t all doom and gloom, with one or two titles coming sooner than expected.  

Starring Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman, Shawn Levy’s third installment of “Deadpool” will be released on May 3, 2024. The title was originally going to debut on September 6, 2024, and then on November 8, 2024.  

An image of Marvel's character 'Deadpool' looking shocked at the camera.
Characters such as “Deadpool” will be affected by the strikes and will even suffer a decrease in quality because of an early release. Credit: Deadpool/Shutterstock

The title was first delayed by Marvel, alongside an adaptation of “Blade,” and “Fantastic Four.” The original delay is believed to be caused by the merger of Disney and Fox.  

Either way, the film is due sooner than we thought. While this is exciting, producers are sacrificing quality to get the film out in cinemas and meet their quota.  

The “Deadpool” franchise relies heavily on improvisation, and with the writers’ strike, the third installment will lack this key feature; worrying some fans that it won’t be the same without the timely humor that Ryan Reynolds improvises.  

Twitter user @Buzz_Qs said, “Yeah. I’m a little worried for Deadpool 3 since they moved the release date up.”

As a member of the guild, Reynolds will not be able to improvise on set, due to the restrictions of the strike.  

This is because improvising acts as a form of rewriting, and therefore acts against the strike and undermines the reasons for striking.  

So, what does this mean for the industry?

The industry is a fast pace and ruthless place, so studios need to meet their quotas. Even if that does mean sacrificing the quality of one or two productions.

Think about it. Even during the pandemic, titles were being released, just at a much slower pace.

But, with the most important element of movie production at stake – the written plot, of course – god knows what will happen.

One thing is for sure. Without the writers, we are stuck in a stalemate where both outcomes result in a loss.

But What Does the Writers Strike Mean?  

The Writers Guild of America is taking strike action until a consensus is reached. Between the writers and studios, the guild is looking to correct various matters, including pay and streaming residuals.

Members of the Writers Guild of America striking in New York.
Members of the Writers Guild are striking in New York until their needs are met. WGA Strike in New York. Credit: Rblfmr/Shutterstock

Writers are just looking to be paid what they are worth!  

On May 1, 2023, the board of directors for WGA voted to call a strike, effective from 12:01 on May 2.  

The Last writers’ strike in Hollywood took place in 2007, occurring for 100 days (about 3 and a half months). The strike affected many long-running tv shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – present),” “Bones (2005 – 2017),” and “Breaking Bad (2008 – 2013).” And many more.   

TV shows weren’t alone. 2007’s strike affected movies too.   

Including titles such as “Quantum of Solace (2008),” “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009),” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009).”  

This year’s strike means that members of the Writers Guild of America won’t be able to work, meaning that any production writing would break the rules of the strike.  

While this isn’t a huge problem if the writing element of the production is complete, re-writing is also not allowed. Leaving the potential plots in the hands of directors and actors, rather than professionals of the field.  

Without a writer, you have no production.  

You could either have the title on the original deadline or wait for it to be ready. Productions take time, and without the writers, they’re going to take even longer.  

And, with quality dependent, you could pick but will it really do anything?  

Doubtful.  

So, What Will Be Affected?  

The long list of titles affected is not written in stone. Depending on the status of the writing strike and the producers, more titles could be added to the list of delays.  

A short list with a man looking up at it.
The list of films is unpredictable and could grow as time goes on. Credit: Shutterstock

But so far, the list includes: 

  • Deadpool 3 – Earlier release of May 3, 2024
  • Captain America: Brave New World – Delayed until July 26, 2024
  • Transformers One – Delayed until September 13, 2024
  • Thunderbolts – Delayed until December 20, 2024
  • Blade – Delayed until February 14, 2025
  • Fantastic Four – Delayed until May 2, 2025
  • Avatar 3 – Delayed until December 19, 2025
  • Avatar 4 – Delayed until December 21, 2029
  • Avatar 5 – Delayed until December 19, 2031
  • Avengers: The Kang Dynasty – Delayed until May 1, 2026
  • Avengers: Secret Wars – Delayed until May 7, 2027
  • The Batman: Part ll – Is expected to begin filming in March 2024
  • Mission: Impossible 8 – Temporarily shut down
  • My Ex-Friend’s Wedding – Production paused
  • Safdie brothers’ new comedy – Delayed
  • Unstoppable – Delayed

The list will undoubtedly change. Whether the reason for the change is more delays or movies being brought forward, who knows? The strike will continue until an agreement is met, which means productions have to make a choice.

Delay the title and anger the fans, or release a badly done title and once again, anger the fans or possibly lose them.

Decisions are hard, but someone is going to have to make them.

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Hi, I am a Student at the University of Chester, studying an undergraduate degree in creative writing and journalism. Writing is something I love and getting to express it here is amazing.

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