As SAG-AFTRA remains on strike, the filming for the final season of Stranger Things is yet to begin. Now the CEOs of studios have revealed that some shows would have to be cancelled if the strike goes on much longer.
The talks between studios and actors union are set to begin on Thursday after their deal fell off during the last meeting. The CEOs of four major entertainment corporations - Bob Iger of Disney, Donna Langley of NBCUniversal, Ted Sarandos of Netflix, and David Zaslav of Warner Bros. Discovery, proposed an enhanced bonus structure for the most-viewed streaming shows, along with raises in minimum pay rates to SAG-AFTRA. However, studios continue to refrain from providing a share of the overall streaming earnings, a key element of the SAG-AFTRA's demands to resolve the ongoing strike.
According to a report in Variety, the CEOs have indicated that certain TV Shows may have to be canceled if the strike goes on much longer. While some within the union perceived this as a threat, on the studio side it was seen as laying out the basic realities of the broadcast production schedule.
The studios are also concerned that if they do not get a deal in the next 7-10 days, the entire 2023-2024 television season will be scrapped and more summer blockbusters will be delayed.
The recent comments made by the CEOs, suggesting the possibility of show cancellations, carry significant weight. While this could be interpreted as a threat, there's no denying that the protracted strike has taken a toll on numerous films and series. Now, the pressing question is whether Stranger Things will be impacted by this recent development.
The studio CEOs reportedly suggested to SAG-AFTRA that certain TV shows would have to be canceled if the strike continues.
The strike will only continue if studios continue to refuse to give actors fair pay & working conditions.
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) October 25, 2023
It appears unlikely though given that Stranger Things stands as Netflix's most popular show. As it is the last season, there's a vested interest in concluding the story. The show has a huge following worldwide and any move in that direction would likely trigger a strong backlash from fans, making it improbable for Netflix to consider such an action.
Recently it was reported that Netflix is giving the highest priority to the final season of Stranger Things. The pre-production for season 5 has already begun after the writers strike ended. Canceling it now would result in a significant financial setback for Netflix. Therefore it can be concluded that Stranger Things would be safe.
The new statement by studios appears to be a strategic move aimed at exerting pressure on SAG-AFTRA. By considering the cancelation of shows, they may be seeking to provoke fans and turn them against the actors. Currently, Stranger Things appears to be in a relatively secure position, but the situation remains uncertain as events continue to unfold in the coming days.
Lately, there have been concerns regarding the aging of the Stranger Things cast and how their appearances may evolve in Season 5. Netflix is determined to finalize season 5 before the cast ages and it might influence the ongoing SAG-AFTRA negotiations. Furthermore, the actors are growing increasingly impatient due to the extended intervals between each season. Over the course of nine years, Netflix has managed to release only four seasons.
Moreover, with the show’s breakout stars like Millie Bobby Brown and Finn Wolfhard already engaged with other high-profile projects outside their commitments to Stranger Things, significant scheduling conflicts may arise when the strikes eventually conclude. Brown has already said that filming Stranger Things takes a long time and it is preventing her from telling stories she is passionate about.
Therefore, Stranger Things fans are eagerly hoping for a swift resolution to the actors strike, which would facilitate the return of the actors to the set. The SAG-AFTRA strike has already endured for 104 days, and any further extension could lead to complications for the production of Stranger Things Season 5.