The End of the Hollywood Strike Reveals an Undeniable Truth About Superhero Movies
It’s time to hit the ground running.
Hollywood is back. It took 118 days of striking and negotiations, but the Screen Actors Guild has officially reached a deal with studios and streamers. Their resolution comes on the heels of the writers’ own agreement, and with both writers and actors officially back at work, Hollywood projects are about to resume production.
Insiders at TheWrap previously reported on an impending “traffic jam” given the abundance of projects in the pipeline, not unlike the post-production grind that followed Hollywood’s 2020 shutdown. Per Deadline, studios are prioritizing one project at a time, starting with their most anticipated blockbusters.
First on deck for Disney is Deadpool 3, the Marvel-Fox mash-up that’s been at the center of post-strike conversations. Its official release date may still be up in the air (Captain America: Brave New World is rumored to take over its May 2024 slot), but the Shawn Levy film is reported halfway through production, and still on track for a 2024 premiere.
Sony, meanwhile, is prioritizing its third Venom film. The studio is holding firm on a November 2024 release for Venom 3, and Deadline reports filming will resume as soon as possible. Sony’s second priority may be Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse. Some behind-the-scenes turmoil, combined with the strikes, have pushed the film back from its late March release. There’s no telling when Spider-Verse will be ready, but its cast can at least return for voiceover work soon.
Warner Bros. Beetlejuice 2 may be the closest to wrapping production, as the project had just two filming days left before the actors’ strike shut the set down. It will almost certainly still hit its September 2024 window. Superman: Legacy, meanwhile, is set to usher in a new era for DC Studios, with director James Gunn eyeing a 2025 release.
Other projects may be in for further delays, especially those that have to share a popular actor with other studios. Pedro Pascal has at least two projects in the pipeline, and is reportedly committed to finishing Ridley Scott’s Gladiator sequel before Season 2 of The Last of Us.
So much is still up in the air, but each update brings genre fans closer to the films they’ve been anticipating. It also brings studios and struggling theater chains back from the brink of financial woes. Tentpoles like Deadpool 3 and Venom may be the only way to keep movie theaters from losing more money. Despite the recent struggles of some high-profile superhero movies like Quantumania, the genre is still the number one priority for studios as they race to set up a more profitable 2024. Essentially, studios are betting big that “superhero fatigue” is overstated.
Meanwhile, the need for a plush release window has become “the corporate mandate of priority,” according to an insider who spoke to Deadline. Scoring IMAX screens will also be crucial moving forward, and some films may have to compete with films once slated for 2023 but pushed into 2024, like Dune: Part Two. It’s going to be tricky, and Hollywood may not bounce back as quickly as it’d like, but at least the industry is finally getting back on its feet.