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Stranger Things joins growing list of US shows impacted by WGA strike

Stranger Things stars (L-R) Charlie Heaton, Winona Ryder, Millie Bobby Brown, Noah Schnapp, David Harbour, Natalia Dyer and Finn Wolfhard

Netflix drama Stranger Things has become the latest high-profile series to face disruption as a result of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, which officially started last Tuesday.

The sci-fi drama’s creators, Matt and Ross Duffer (aka the Duffer Brothers), said over the weekend that the start of production would be delayed while the WGA’s strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP) continues.

They tweeted: “Duffers here. Writing does not stop when filming begins. While we’re excited to start production with our amazing cast and crew, it is not possible during this strike. We hope a fair deal is reached soon so we can all get back to work. Until then – over and out. #wgastrong.”

In addition to the main Stranger Things series, the Duffer Brothers have multiple other projects in the works with Netflix through their production banner Upside Down Pictures, which launched last summer.

Projects being developed between the companies include several Stranger Things spin-offs, among them a live-action series, a stage play and an animated series. Most recently, Netflix greenlit a supernatural mystery series titled The Boroughs, which is executive produced by the two brothers.

Under WGA strike rules, work on all these projects will cease until the studios and writers’ guild are able to reach a new agreement.

Stranger Things is one of a growing number of projects to be disrupted as writers (and allies) have picketed production sets, studio lots, offices and events across LA and New York. Some shows have been paused because of disruption caused by picketers, while others have been forced to shut down because they need writers on set to oversee rewrites and tweaks.

Other high-profile projects to be impacted include HBO Max comedy Hacks, which closed down season-three production for the duration of the strike. Creatively, scripted comedies are especially susceptible to pausing or shutting down as they require writers on set to oversee rewrites and script alterations.

Others to have faced disruption include Marvel’s Blade movie, Apple TV+’s Severance, Showtime’s Billions and Paramount+’s supernatural drama Evil. As well, the MTV Movies & TV Awards, which took place on Sunday night, shifted from an in-person live event to a pre-taped show.

The ongoing strike is also expected to wreak havoc with the Upfronts next week in New York, where studios unveil new shows to advertisers, typically with talent in attendance, and at the LA Screenings to international buyers later in the month.


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