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Apple joins rival studios, streamers in suspending deals with producers and talent

Apple has joined numerous other studios and streamers in suspending some first-look and overall deals with talent and producers, four-and-a-half months after US writers first hit the picket lines.

Natalie Portman

Deals impacted by the suspensions include those with Adam McKay’s Hyperobject Industries and Natalie Portman’s MountainA.

Some pacts with non-writing producers are continuing, however, including Apple’s agreement with Martin Scorsese, whose original film Killers of the Flower Moon is being released on Apple TV+ next month. Apple’s deal with Tom Hanks’ Playtone is also continuing.

While many first-look and overall pacts were cancelled shortly after the Writers Guild of America strike began on May 2, deals with several high-profile producers remained in place.

However, as the writers and actors’ strikes have dragged on past the Labor Day weekend in early September, the studios have started to suspend deals with some of their most recognisable talent.

Earlier this month, Warner Bros Discovery suspended agreements with the likes of Greg Berlanti, JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, Mindy Kaling, Chuck Lorre and Bill Lawrence, while NBCUniversal’s Universal Studio Group suspended deals with Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video and Dwayne Johnson’s Seven Bucks and CBS Studios suspended its deals with Phil ‘Dr Phil’ McGraw, film producer DeVon Franklin and producer Lis Rowinski.

A suspension means that the deal is temporarily deactivated but will resume once the strike ends.

Last week, Disney also suspended some overall and first-look deals with non-writing producers from across Disney Entertainment’s TV divisions, including 20th Television, ABC Signature, Disney Television Studios, Disney Branded Television and FX Productions.


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