The actors strike is being felt as far away as Australia, as the country’s production union issued guidance saying a “limited” number of SAG-affiliated productions will have to stop for now.
We hear cast and crew on Mortal Kombat 2 have stood down, while Peacock’s Apples Never Fall has also shut for now.
Production on game adaptation sequel MK2 from New Line Cinema and Warner Bros Pictures has been taking place on the Gold Coast, Queensland, but has stopped after SAG-AFTRA announced its members would begin striking today. Simon McQuoid is directing the film, which is a follow up to hit 2021 action adventure Mortal Kombat, based on the blockbuster video game franchise created by Ed Boon and John Tobias.
Apples Never Fall, starring the likes of Annette Bening, Alison Brie and Jake Lacy, was also shooting in Queensland but local reports say it shut down today. Heyday Television and Matchbox Pictures, which are both part of Universal Studio Group, were producing for NBCU streamer Peacock.
The closures comes as Screen Producers Australia issues guidance following SAG-AFTRA’s strike declaration yesterday. Broadly, it expects the impact to be small and restricted to non-Australian productions.
Interestingly, local productions with “imported SAG members” will be unaffected providing all cast are contracted in accordance with the Global Rule One agreement. This states SAG-AFTRA members must always work under union contracts when working around the globe (unless no union exists in the country).
“SPA anticipates that a limited number of scripted ‘offshore’ (i.e. non-Australian) productions will be affected by the strike, with cast and crew stood down while the strike continues,” said the SPA in a statement.
“However, local scripted productions, produced and controlled by Australian production companies, engaging Australian and Imported SAG members, will remain unaffected by the strike order provided they engage all cast under Australian Industry Contracts in accordance with the Global Rule One Agreement between SAG-AFTRA and the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA).”
In Europe, House of the Dragon, Industry and Dune: The Sisterhood are all expected to continue in production as they are under Equity contracts, rather than SAG-AFTRA. SAG members on such shows could look to boycott in solidarity, though differing anti-strike laws mean that may not be possible in some countries, such as the UK.