Phew! Crisis averted, guys!
The Writer’s Guild of America is not going on strike.
Amid concerns that movie and television studios have been hoarding all the profits from their fantastically popular recent works, writers across America were poised to dust of their placards and start writing inventive chants with which to taunt The Man.
A settlement has been reached – at least tentatively – which keeps the writers in work, and prevents the next few years of television shows and movies from being awful.
The last writer’s strike, back in 2008, had repercussions which lasted for over half a decade. It turns out that if you take all of the writers out of Hollywood, the only people that are left are actors, electricians, and studio executives – and none of them have the first clue how to write a good script.
Remember Quantum of Solace? Actor Daniel Craig has fully admitted that, during the last writer’s strike, the studio expected him to fill in for the movie’s actual writers, adapting a very early script draft into something filmable. Poof Craig didn’t know the first thing about scriptwriting, and the resultant screenplay was, to put it kindly, a little less than Oscar worthy.
At the same time, though, while avoiding a writer’s strike means that Game of Thrones won’t end up with an appallingly bad conclusion, and that Marvel’s Phase Four won’t be derailed by a few terrible scripts, it’s hard not to feel a sense of disappointment that the strike isn’t going ahead.
With plenty of free time and no active projects to work on during the last strike, plenty of creators and writers began working on their own personal projects. For a brief period, Hollywood set aside its many franchises and longrunning, existing properties, in favor of coming up with brand new, quirky ideas instead.
The most shining example of this from 2008 is Doctor Horrible’s Singalong Blog, a short web series created by Avengers director Joss Whedon because he was bored. The show won an Emmy, and was instrumental in legitimizing streaming services as an alternative to traditional television.
Another writer’s strike would have provided us with an opportunity to discover a series of brand new, exciting and inventive original characters, as an enforced vacation would mean that talented creators would have the chance to work on their pet passion projects.
Alas, though, the strike has been averted, and we’ll be getting more of the same eight superheroes we’ve already seen on screen a dozen times before.
That’s a shame. Maybe if we’re lucky, talks will deteriorate again, and we’ll be blessed with a new strike to shake the cobwebs out of Hollywood’s increasingly thematically static major blockbusters.