For years, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has been advocating for changes within Hollywood, but the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has not given them due attention. Now, the chickens have come home to roost, as the WGA strike has brought Hollywood to a standstill.
Many people in the industry have voiced their support for the writers, including the prominent novelist George R. R. Martin. In his blog post, 'Strike', the bestselling author of the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire expressed solidarity with the WGA, sharing his thoughts on the ongoing strike and providing updates on the status of his Hollywood projects.
The 70-year-old author began his statement by expressing unwavering support for the WGA, of which he has been a member since 1986. Despite having walked a picket line during the 1988 strike, Martin will not be able to participate in the current strike as he is not currently in Los Angeles.
Nonetheless, he stressed the gravity of the issues brought up by the WGA and predicted that this strike could last longer than the 100-day 2007–2008 strike. The assumed length of this latest strike has been hotly debated by all sides.
It could, of course, end sooner if the executives helming these companies - who routinely take home millions in annual bonuses regardless of revenue, sometimes amid massive budget cuts - would simply fairly pay writers for their work.
According to Martin, studios, streamers, and networks have been hoarding scripts for months in anticipation of this long-awaited strike and its impact on their productions. As of May 2, ongoing productions can only rely on the scripts they had prior to that date, as no amendments can be made while the strike is still in effect.
As a result, let's take a look at the current status of all the shows that GRRM is currently involved in:
The AMC psychological thriller series debuted last year and was renewed for a second season that is scheduled to air this year. Production on the second season concluded several months ago, and post-production on five out of six episodes is already finished.
According to GRRM, the show is expected to air during the summer, but any decision regarding a third season will be deferred until the strike comes to a resolution.
Fans who were eagerly anticipating the TV adaptation of the superhero anthology novels are in for a disappointment as Peacock has decided not to pursue the show. However, GRRM has assured fans that they will attempt to pitch it to another studio once the strike ends.
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight
HBO recently approved a Game of Thrones spinoff based on the Tales of Dunk and Egg novellas. However, due to the ongoing strike, the writers' room for the show has now been shut down as the production team has joined the picket lines.
The spinoff series is set 90 years before the events of Game of Thrones and follows the exploits of Ser Duncan the Tall, who would eventually become the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and Prince Aegon "Egg" Targaryen, who would go on to become King Aegon V Targaryen.
House of the Dragon
Filming for the second season of House of the Dragon commenced on April 11 in the UK. As reported earlier, the scripts for all eight episodes were already completed prior to the WGA strike. According to GRRM, each episode underwent multiple rounds of revisions and four or five drafts to incorporate feedback from HBO, as well as his own notes and budgetary considerations, among other miscellaneous concerns.
Consequently, there are no plans for any further revisions, and the show's fate now rests in the capable hands of the directors, cast, and crew members, unless any of them decide to join the strike out of solidarity with their colleagues.
Concerned fans of GRRM's novels may wonder if the writers' strike will impede progress on The Winds of Winter. The WGA strike only affects writers in the film and TV industry, and GRRM himself reassured readers that he remains fully devoted to writing the sixth installment of A Song of Ice and Fire and is diligently working on completing the novel.
Last year, Martin confirmed that he had made significant headway on the novel, having written around 1,100 to 1,200 pages, or roughly three-quarters of the total manuscript. He estimated that he still had approximately 400 to 500 pages to go before the novel would be complete.