Thursday, January 3, 2008

Writers Strike: Will the WGA do a Deal with Lionsgate or TWC?

A friend asked an interesting question: Will Lionsgate make an interim deal with the WGA, a la David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants? The Letterman deal, signed just days ago, was reportedly on the terms the Guild has been demanding – and that the major studios rejected as economically unreasonable.

Such a deal – or perhaps one with The Weinstein Company (TWC) - would be a natural way for the Guild to take the pressure of interim deals to the next level. This time, the majors would be looking not at a tiny company in a specialized corner of the business, but at a mini-major - a true competitor, ready to make films and television programming with the best writers in the business. It’d be the difference between a cat at the door and, well, a lion at the gate.

Will this happen? I don’t know. But – when I asked a WGA spokesman whether the Guild had discussed the matter, or was in talks with Lionsgate or TWC (or planned any), his response spoke volumes: “I can neither confirm nor deny.” He then added a smiley face.

[Update - Since this article was published, the WGA has reportedly done such a deal with United Artists. Perhaps Lionsgate or TWC will be next.]

This article first appeared in the Huffington Post today.