The ongoing strike by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) in Hollywood is starting to have ripple effects on the release schedules of highly anticipated projects, including those featuring Bollywood stars Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt.
The strike, which commenced on July 14, has caused significant disruptions in the industry as both SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America protest against studios over several issues, including wages, AI technology, and profit-sharing in the streaming era.
One of the reportedly affected projects is “Project K,” a sci-fi film featuring Prabhas, Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Haasan, and Deepika Padukone. The film’s director, Nag Ashwin, had planned to unveil the movie’s first look at the San Diego Comic-Con on July 20. However, due to Hollywood actors refraining from participating in such events during the strike as a show of solidarity with the creative community, there is speculation that the launch of “Project K” might be postponed.
As of now, the San Diego Comic-Con schedule still lists the “Project K” event on its slate, but uncertainties remain as the strike persists.
Another film impacted by the strike is “Heart of Stone,” which marks Alia Bhatt’s debut in Hollywood. The Netflix film, also starring Gal Gadot and Jamie Dornan, was scheduled to have extensive promotions in Los Angeles ahead of its release on August 11. However, the strike has put these promotional activities on hold. As a result, Alia Bhatt will now shift her focus to promoting her upcoming Bollywood film, “Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani,” over the next two weeks.
The strike’s effects are also felt in the uncertainty surrounding the release of Ali Fazal’s next film, “Afghan Dreamers.” Although the actor completed shooting for Bill Guttentag’s directorial venture earlier this year, the strike’s impact on the industry may cause the film’s release to be pushed from its original year-end schedule to early 2024.
The SAG strike has garnered significant support from Hollywood heavyweights, with even the cast of “Oppenheimer” walking out of the film’s London premiere in solidarity. As the strike continues, the film industry must navigate the challenges and find ways to mitigate the effects of upcoming releases.
While Hollywood grapples with the strike’s implications, Bollywood stars and their projects are also being affected. The strike’s uncertainties are forcing filmmakers and actors to reconsider promotional activities and release schedules. It remains to be seen how the industry will adapt to these challenges and whether alternative strategies will be employed to ensure smooth releases and mitigate any further disruptions.