The Hollywood Actors Guild said on Tuesday it had exempted 39 independent film and television projects from its strike, including two films from A24, the secretive New York firm that has become a powerhouse at the Oscars.
SAG-AFTRA, as the union is known, said the production could be filmed during the strike because it had verified they had no ties to the Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance, which negotiates on behalf of the biggest studios. Talks between the federation and the alliance over a new three-year contract collapsed on Thursday, and tens of thousands of actors went on strike on Friday.
More concessions may be agreed upon while the guild evaluates applications. To be considered, products must agree to be temporarily bound by the terms of the latest proposal that SAG-AFTRA put on the table during negotiations. The products will be subject to the final deal between the union and the studio alliance.
The 39 projects includeMother Mary,” a melodrama co-financed by A24 and starring Anne Hathaway as a fictional musician and Michaela Cowell (aka “I May Destroy You” on HBO) as a fashion designer. A24’s second project, “Death of a Unicorn,” stars Paul Rudd and Gina Ortega, aka “Wednesday.” on Netflix. It tells the story of a man and his teenage daughter who, while driving in a remote location, hit a unicorn.
A24 was behind “Everything Everywhere All at One,” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in March.
Also waived was The Rivals of Amziah King, a crime thriller starring Matthew McConaughey and produced by Teddy Schwarzman, whose father was Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman. “The Chosen,” a popular religious TV series, could also continue for a new season, as could “Bride Hard,” a comedy starring Rebel Wilson that includes a mercenary group and a lavish wedding.
Hollywood actors haven’t been on strike since 1980. They join the 11,500 screenwriters who walked out in May. Both unions said they were tired of the exorbitant wages of entertainment tycoons and worried about not receiving a fair share of the spoils of a future dominated by streaming. Actors and writers haven’t been on strike at the same time since 1960.
No talks are scheduled with either federation.