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Warner Bros. has discontinued the film. TV continues its blanket deals with more notable A-list producers, who are believed to include Greg Berlanti, Bill Lawrence, John Wells, Chuck Lorre and Mindy Kaling, as well as JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot panel.
Some of these names, including Wells and Lorre, may have seen their deals put on hold earlier. The latest news comes months after Warner Bros. announced its release. TV, along with Amazon, HBO, and Warner Bros. TV, NBCUniversal, Disney, CBS Studios and other major studios have suspended some blanket and first-look deals amid the ongoing writers’ strike.
These suspensions were made in May, shortly after the WGA strike began, and did not include producers still performing in the production. At the time, this was before the SAG-AFTRA strike began, which meant that the cast was still on some sets, with production continuing on shows that had already been written.
Some writers/producers also double as DGA members and directors on their projects; Since the DGA has a new deal with AMPTP and is not on strike, these fees have been allowed for recent months.
But production has been halted almost entirely since SAG-AFTRA joined WGA members on the picket line in July. Once talent is no longer able to provide services, the policy is generally to suspend deals.
This deal suspension differs from blanket termination, which has not yet been seen widely in the industry – although the book strike has already crossed the 90-day mark when, historically, dealmakers have had the option to cancel agreements in the face of any deal. “Acts of God” (a common interpretation of business proposals for how the phrase “force majeure” applies to this type of business shutdown).
Total deals usually pay the writer’s company overhead and fund the development of the projects. First-look deals also provide a financial padding and, in turn, ensure that a studio or company receives preferred country status when it comes to determining potential distribution for a series or movie.
Insiders point out that holds usually just put the deal on hold while no work gets done anyway. Once production resumes, deals resume, with the previously suspended time added to the end of the agreement.
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