Major Hollywood studios and streaming platforms are reportedly considering terminating some of their first look and overall deals with writers as soon as August 1st, according to multiple sources for Variety.
As both SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America continue to strike, existing deals with writers would be torn up under contractual force majeure clauses as early as next week.
Many of these deals were suspended only a week into the strike in May by producers like Amazon, HBO, Warner Bros. TV, NBCUniversal, Disney and CBS Studios. The studios are already saving money by having paused numerous deals so far.
The writer’s strike is now coming to the 90-day mark, a time when dealmakers have the option to kill agreements in the face of an ‘act of God’.
The deals being considered for termination are almost exclusively in television according to insiders, with notifications of deal suspensions expected to be handed out from next week.
After the 2007-08 strike saw term deals cut almost immediately, safeguards are now in place to protect against force majeure – meaning this time there will likely be less bloodshed when the cuts start to happen.
At present there is no indication of the writer’s guild and the studios going back to the negotiating table.