J.J. Abrams To Honor Writers' StrikeBy Christian
November 6, 2007 - 5:19 PM
Star Trek XI director J.J. Abrams and producer David Lindelof are both joining their fellow writers at the picket lines, protesting against the inability of Hollywood producers to offer an acceptable new contract.
"If I didn't stand with my fellow writers, I'd feel it in my gut," Abrams told Variety. The director plans to spend time outside the Paramount lot, joining in chants such as "Who's got more money than they can count? Paramount." But Trek fans needn't worry this will delay the planned start of shooting on the new film tomorrow -- Abrams has said he will continue to honor his contract and direct Star Trek XI, although he won't perform any writing work on the film while the strike lasts.
Already striking yesterday was Damon Lindelof, executive producer on Lost, as well as producer of the new Trek film. "Everybody's a little saddened and surprised and shocked to be out here," he said. Lindelof revealed he'd spent every last minute working on Lost, putting the finishing touches on that show's eight episode right before the strike got started.
The Writers Guild of America went on strike this week after the guild's current contract with Hollywood producers expired, and negotiations failed to produce a new contract. The WGA is demanding that writers get paid residuals for internet broadcasts of films and television shows, and protesting a proposal by producers to allow special promotional airings of films for which writers wouldn't get paid any extra royalties.
The last time the WGA went on strike, in 1988, many studios in Hollywood were hit hard as they ran out of scripts to film. One notable casualty was Star Trek: The Next Generation, which had a shortened second season, and was forced to end it with the ill-received clip show "Shades of Gray." This time around, the Trek franchise is in a much better position, as screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci have already completed the full script for the film. However, if the strike continues for a long time, they will be prohibited from making any changes to the script during production, which could cause problems if certain scenes don't end up working as well as expected.
For the original report from Variety on the writers' strike, please follow this link.