Sunday, January 06, 2008

Writers Strike over! (for Tom Cruise)

As head of MGM's United Artists, producer Tom Cruise might have accomplished something no other studio executive has managed since last November: He struck a deal with the Writers Guild.

Sources told L.A. Times Cruise and United Artists co-executive Paula Wagner made an interim deal with WGA which would allow writers to work for their studio until a deal has be set between the guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

The deal could give Cruise & co. a decided advantage over other studios for a long time. Any hope that the Writers' Strike might end soon were dashed in December after talks came to an end between the two warring camps. The WGA feels its members should be entitled to a piece of the 'new media' sales, now that movies and TV shows are being sold online via iTunes, Netflix, and other potential vendors.

L.A. Times also cites that The Weinstein Company and Lionsgate could strike interim deals like United Artists' in the days ahead.

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I've said this before on the radio program, but any major actor worth his or her salt should know their career would be nowhere without a good screenplay. I mean where would Tom Cruise be today if someone hadn't written, "I feel the need....THE NEED FOR SPEED!" or "Show me the money!"? Nowhere. It's obvious that Cruise realizes this. And if the writer's strike doesn't end anytime soon, it looks like United Artists could have pick of the litter, talent-wise for the duration of the strike.

If Cruise succeeds, this would be the perfect revenge for both Cruise and the WGA, both of whom were crapped on by Paramount's Sumner Redstone over the last three years.

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