×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Daredevil’ deal strikes at States

Canuck no-strike waiver stirs up local producers

MONTREAL — A special no-strike waiver offered by a Canuck actors union to keep 20th Century Fox/New Regency’s $60 million pic “Daredevil” in Montreal looks set to drive a wedge between local and U.S. producers.

The pic is at the center of a Canadian labor battle after producer Bernie Williams threatened to pull it Friday because of fears of an actors strike.

Negotiations on the new Independent Production Agreement, which expires Dec. 31, will begin Oct. 15. If no deal is struck, actors could walk out Jan. 16 — when “Daredevil” is skedded to shoot.

Elizabeth McDonald, president of the Canadian Film and Television Production Assn., warned Monday that her group opposes individual deals between the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) and Hollywood producers.

“This is just an effort to undermine our side of collective bargaining,” said McDonald. “That means, ‘Oh, we can take these people and negotiate with them, and we’ll leave the Canadian producers here, and who cares.’ It’s not collective bargaining.”

Under the current collective agreement, no side deals are allowed. But since U.S. studios are not signatories on the Canuck deal, they are simply observers at the negotiations, they can make individual pacts while Canadian producers cannot.

ACTRA national executive director Stephen Waddell confirmed that his union had offered Fox a no-strike waiver that would allow actors to work on the production under the current agreement and, when the new one comes into effect, apply the conditions retroactively.

“We’re looking to find a way that we can accommodate the needs of this individual production without compromising our overall collective-bargaining negotiations,” said Waddell.

When it was suggested that Canadian producers may see such a side deal as favoring U.S. producers, Waddell said, “We’re not intending to do that. But the U.S. studios are not signatories of the negotiating protocol.”

“Daredevil” producers and ACTRA had not reached an agreement by late afternoon Monday.

Other execs from U.S. studios have told Canuck film industry reps that they will not shoot in Canada in the next few months unless they can definitely wrap by Jan. 16.

ACTRA claims the studios are being alarmist and that they should let the negotiations follow their regular course; there are no plans to fast-track talks because of the Hollywood worries.

Another production that may by-pass Montreal as a result of the labor conflict is Castle Rock’s adaptation of the Stephen King bestseller “The Dreamcatcher.”

The pic, to be directed by Lawrence Kasdan, was originally set to shoot in January in the Montreal area, but the producers are considering other locations.

More Film

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Keira Knightly as "Rachael Morgan" in

    Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath'

    Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]

  • Inside Amazon's New Feature Film Strategy

    Amazon's New Film Strategy: Straight-to-Service Titles and Starry Sundance Buys

    It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab

    TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab (EXCLUSIVE)

    The TorinoFilmLab has announced the 20 feature projects and five story editor trainees who have been selected to take part in the 2019 edition of ScriptLab, an initiative focused on the development of fiction feature film scripts in early development stage. Beginning in March, this year’s participants will team up with filmmakers from around the [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    North American Box Office Declines From Last Year With Weak Presidents Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” easily won a tepid Presidents Day weekend with a $34.2 million at 3,790 North American locations, estimates showed Monday. Overall domestic moviegoing for 2019 has plunged 22.1% to $1.24 billion as of Monday, according to Comscore. That’s $350 million below the same date a year ago and the lowest figure at this [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content