Creating Westworld has been a life-changing experience for the Nolans. After running into trouble with the production of the first season, showrunner Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are committed to doing everything right and eliminating all possibilities of a delay. At the recent PaleyFest, Nolan revealed his plan of finishing all 10 scripts before going into production. But, as fate would have it, a writers’ strike is coming up that could cause a major setback for Westworld season 2.
[Updated on 2nd May 2017]
Writer’s Guild America has managed to close a deal with Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) for a new three-year film and TV contract, thereby dodging the writer’s strike 2017. And now, the mentioned deal will be sent to the WGA West’s board and the WGA East’s council for approval, and then to the guilds’ members for ratification, reports Deadline. Speaking in respect to just Westworld, the plan on completing all 10 episode scripts before plunging into filming that begins in July will go unhindered.
Here’s a detail look into what went on at the meeting, if you are interested. If not then, look at this picture of the WGA members. It was taken after the deal was struck. Can you see Jonathan Nolan?
[Original post on 1st April 2017]
At the PaleyFest last Saturday, Nolan said his team of writers were in the middle of breaking season 3. So when THR asked Nolan about the writer’s strike, Nolan admitted, “I don’t want a strike. No one wants a strike.” He, however, did vote yes at the Writer’s Guild strike vote. The move was a show of solidarity, a “willingness of the membership to do what it takes.”
If the strike is authorized then it’ll be the first major labor strike in Hollywood since the 2007–2008 writers’ strike that took a massive toll on the television industry.
The popularity of condensed 10-episode season has reduced the income of writers into half of what they were getting paid under the former 20+ episode season format. Writer’s aren’t allowed to look for work outside of the TV show that they are working on. Addressing the issue, Nolan said:
“We’re still paid per episode, and now it’s 10 episodes with exclusivity,” adds Nolan. “That means even if the show only takes a few months [to do], you’re still held to the show. That’s a 60 percent reduction in income.”
It could be several weeks or months before the Studios strike a negotiation with the Writers Guild of America (WGA). “We’re at a sea change moment,” says Nolan. But what does that mean for Westworld’s next season.
During the 2007–2008 writers’ strike, at least 13 shows were canceled and several big ones had to be rescheduled. I wish Nolan had shed some light over the toll the strike could take on Westworld season 2. But it’s kind of obvious that the writer’s strike will have an impact on the making of Westworld.
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