Hollywood is well and truly on strike, with some of the biggest names in writing and acting taking to the picket line and campaigning for fair pay, residuals for streaming, and use of AI likeness. While Fran Drescher and SAG-Aftra are “financially prepared for the next six months” to protest for their rights, the halting of Hollywood productions means audiences will not get to see their highly anticipated TV series and films for a long, long time.
Not only does the strike affect films that were in the middle of production when the strike was called, namely Deadpool 3, the Gladiator sequel starring Paul Mescal, the sequel to the 1988 film Beetlejuice, and the Ariana Grande-led Wicked film. Just as much as these films will have to pick up months from now where they left off, the strike will affect the films that had already finished production and slated for release later this year.
Even though fans have gone above and overboard on theatre attendance for Barbenheimmer, with Barbie and Oppenheimer earning a whopping $1.34 billion and $777 million respectively, studios have decided to push back big budget releases. Rather than releasing completed projects to desperately awaiting fans, studios are favoring film delays over promoting their film’s without actor support and press.
At the top of the list of controversial delays is Denis Villenueve’s hotly anticipated sequel to Dune. Initially set for release on November 3 with an announced IMAX timeline that would overtake all other films (particularly The Marvels), Dune: Part 2 is now slated for a March 15th 2024 premiere. With IMAX earnings raking in 20% of the profit for the first film, the shortened IMAX period with the new release date has fans confused why Warner Bros has taken this step. Zendaya’s leading role in Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers has also been pushed back to April 2024, and the same case for Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. Not only do these moved dates mean fans will have to wait even longer for films, the studios have set release in a small window in early 2024. Challengers, Rebel Moon, Snow White, and Dune: Part 2 will all be released in the span of a couple weeks. Will it be a frenzy, or an exciting return to the theatres? Time will only tell.