Studios rush to fill '09 schedule

Possible SAG strike hurries high-profile pics

By pamela McClintock
Variety
February 8, 2008

An end to the writers strike would come just in time for Hollywood studios, who are bumping up against the deadline to get projects into production before a possible walkout by actors on June 30.

The majors can also get busy figuring out which projects to greenlight for a fall start, since there's no room to spare in filling out the second half of the 2009 release slate. In addition they have to largely map out their 2010 skeds.

The majors had always planned to accelerate their production schedules in case of a SAG strike. No one, however, had planned on such a long WGA walkout, which has made script polishes and rewrites impossible.

Studios are keeping mum about what the end of the writers strike will mean for a handful of high-profile projects scuttled -- at least temporarily -- by the walkout, including Sony's "Angels and Demons," which needed script revisions, and Warner Bros.' "Justice League."

Sony reiterated this week that "Angels and Demons" is delayed pending the outcome of the strike. Others suggest it could go into production this summer if all goes well. That's also true for DreamWorks and Paramount's "Transformers 2." Both films are still set for release in 2009: "Angels and Demons" on May 15, "Transformers 2" on June 26.
Whatever the case, the next three months is a production free-for-all. Here's the status of studio projects that have already begun shooting or are about to go into the production and are scheduled to complete production before a possible SAG strike could interfere. This list doesn't include films that are largely wrapped or are in post, nor does it include animated movies, of which there are plenty in 2009.

DISNEY

"Confessions of a Shopaholic" -- filming

"A Christmas Carol" -- next week (Jim Carrey; 11/6/09 release)

"Bedtime Stories" -- February (Adam Sandler;; 12/25/08 release)

"Witch Mountain" -- late March (Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson)

"The Proposal" -- late March (Ryan Reynolds/Sandra Bullock 2/13/09 release)

"When in Rome" -- mid-April

"Hannah Montana Movie" -- mid-April

"High School Musical: Senior Year" -- mid-April

"Surrogates" -- late April (Bruce Willis)

"Prince of Persia" -- late July (7/10/09 release)
http://www.variety.com/VR1117980473.html