In a just published Variety article about which upcoming projects might be most affected by the strike, they gave an update on some of the most highly anticipated comic book sequels and adaptations.
Major tentpoles are the most vulnerable should the strike drag on. Warner Bros. execs are nervous about how to proceed with Justice League of America, which is still uncast and is a crucial potential franchise boasting popular DC Comics characters. While WB expects to move ahead on most of its projects, if the strike extends past February, the studio will have some reevaluating to do. Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins will face issues if the strike goes past April. The Jetsons has a locked script, but it is uncast.
Paramount, on the other hand, threw four pricey A-list scribes at would-be $100-million franchise "G.I. Joe", which is scheduled to start shooting in February, and swears that the move paid off. Stuart Beattie (3:10 to Yuma), John Lee Hancock ("A Perfect World") and Brian Koppleman and David Levien ("Ocean's Thirteen") teamed up in an intense collaboration that yielded, according to di Bonaventura, a shootable script. But will the studio be willing to take a chance on shooting such an important, costly tentpole? The studio insists it will, partly because it isn't chasing big-name stars.
"We have to make sure the actors are not only good but perfectly suited to their roles," says di Bonaventura.
DreamWorks/Par's Transformers 2 is far enough along to proceed with pre-production, location scouting and advance VFX work, but will face serious issues if the strike continues for several months. Michael Bay's megabudget sequel isn't set to start filming until June. Di Bonaventura's "Edwin A. Salt" will likely be pushed back, too.
On X-Men pics, Parker admits, writers Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn were making adjustments throughout production. X-Men Origins: Wolverine will have no such luxury. Most action sequences will be handled in f/x animation.
The X-Files sequel, while casting supporting roles, is to start in December, Parker says. Pulling the plug now would be prohibitively expensive.
The Day the Earth Stood Still will also go forward, as no script invention is required. "That's a helpful discipline, to be forced to lock these scripts instead of going into production with scripts in flux," Parker says. "But we could run into little snags ahead."