Writers’ strike freezes ‘Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ spinoff


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Writers’ strike freezes ‘Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ spinoff

FILE PHOTO: 71st Primetime Emmy Awards - Photo Room – Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 22, 2019 - George R.R. Martin (C) and the cast and crew of Game of Thrones poses backstage with their award for Outstanding Drama Series. REUTERS/Monica Almeida/File Photo

REUTERS/Monica Almeida/File Photo

The final season of 'Stranger Things' was also paused and Marvel movie 'Blade' shut down just before filming was set to start

LOS ANGELES, USA – Writing for a new season of The Handmaid’s Tale and a coming Game of Thrones prequel was halted as a nearly week-long strike by thousands of film and television writers rippled across Hollywood on Monday, May 8.

The writers of Emmy-winning Hulu drama The Handmaid’s Tale had penned some early episodes for a new season ahead of filming that was supposed to start in late summer, said co-executive producer and writer Yahlin Chang. 

Writing of the dystopian drama stopped when the Writers Guild of America (WGA) called a strike last week, Chang told Reuters on Monday.

A representative for Hulu declined to comment.

Also on Monday, Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin said in a blog post that the writers’ room for prequel series A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight was “closed for the duration of the strike.” 

The WGA began a work stoppage on May 2 after failing to reach a new labor agreement with higher pay from Hollywood studios such as Netflix Inc and Walt Disney Co. The studios have said they made a “generous” offer to boost compensation.

Late-night talk shows immediately went dark, and some TV series and movies have followed. The final season of Netflix hit Stranger Things was paused. Marvel movie Blade, starring Mahershala Ali, shut down just before filming was set to start.

The Hedge Knight was touted by Warner Bros executives last month as one of the marquee shows in development for Max, the new name for what had been HBO Max.

The series is set 100 years before the events of Game of Thrones, a time when the Targaryen line holds the Iron Throne, and focuses on a young knight and his squire. 

Warner Bros has not announced a release date for The Hedge Knight.

The second season of House of the Dragon, another Game of Thrones prequel, began filming in April, Martin said, and will continue in London and Wales. All eight episodes already were written and revised, he said.

Martin also expressed his “unequivocal support” for the WGA. 

It is unclear how long the strike will last. No new talks have been scheduled between the Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the group negotiating on behalf of studios.

“Maybe the AMPTP members will come to their senses tomorrow and offer some meaningful concessions, and the whole thing can be wrapped up next week,” Martin said. “I would not bet the ranch on that, however … I have never seen the Guild so united as it is now.” – Rappler.com

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