×

Writers Guild Taps Billy Ray, Chip Johannessen, Chris Keyser to Head Negotiations

The Writers Guild of America has named prominent writers Billy Ray, Chip Johannessen, and Chris Keyser to head its negotiating committee.

WGA West exec director David Young will be the chief negotiator for the guild. The WGA did not disclose when it will launch contract negotiations with the studios on a new master contract. The current three-year deal expires on May 1.

Negotiations with the Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will launch Dec. 5. The DGA deal expires June 30. SAG-AFTRA’s deal also expires June 30.

The WGA and the AMPTP — which serves as the bargaining arm for production companies — had no comment as to details of the talks. It’s the second consecutive time that Ray (“Captain Phillips,” “The Hunger Games”) and Johannessen (an executive producer on “Homeland”) have been co-chairs of the negotiating committee.

Keyser served two two-year terms as WGA West president before being termed out last year. Ray was also co-chair for the 2010-11 negotiations.

During the 2014 negotiations, leaders of the WGA placed a premium on hiking compensation for cable shows. The contract negotiations will take place nine years after the raucous 100-day WGA strike shook Hollywood to the core.

The committee includes Patric Verrone, who served as president during the strike, “House of Cards” showrunner Beau Willimon, “The Shield” showrunner Shawn Ryan, “Straight Outta Compton” co-writer Andrea Berloff and “Erin Brockovich” screenwriter Susannah Grant.

Other members include Alfredo Barrios Jr., Adam Brooks, Zoanne Clack, Marjorie David, Kate Erickson, Jonathan Fernandez, Travon Free, Howard Michael Gould, Erich Hoeber, Richard Keith, Warren Leight, Alison McDonald, Luvh Rakhe, Stephen Schiff, David Shore, Meredith Stiehm, Eric Wallace, and Nicole Yorkin.

WGA West president Howard A. Rodman and WGA East president Michael Winship are also on the committee along with David A. Goodman (VP of the WGA West), Jeremy Pikser (VP of the WGA East), Aaron Mendelsohn (secretary-treasurer of the WGA West), and Bob Schneider (secretary-treasurer of the WGA East).

The WGA has about 12,000 members — 8,000 with the Los Angeles-based WGA West and 4,000 with the New York-based WGA East.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • BETWEEN TWO FERNS, 2019, PH_0027.RAF

    Film Review: 'Between Two Ferns: The Movie'

    If you’re a fan of “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis,” the fake public-access talk show that Zach Galifianakis has been hosting online, for three to six minutes a pop, over the last 10 years, then you’ll probably like “Between Two Ferns: The Movie,” the snark-lite 82-minute road movie that Galifianakis and his director and [...]

  • The Irishman

    Martin Scorsese, Frances McDormand, Donald Sutherland Join Lineup of France's Lumiere Festival

    Martin Scorsese’s eagerly awaited Netflix movie “The Irishman” wasn’t completed on time to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival, but Thierry Fremaux, Cannes’s topper, managed to pin down the high-profile movie and Scorsese himself for the upcoming Lumiere festival in Lyon next month. Dedicated to heritage movies, the Lumiere festival was created 10 years [...]

  • 'Aladdin' Star Mena Massoud Calls for

    'Aladdin' Star Mena Massoud Calls for a Broader Diversity of Storytelling in Movies and TV

    The star of “Aladdin,” Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud, called for a greater diversity of storytelling in movies and television when he spoke at the glamorous opening ceremony Thursday of the 3rd edition of Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival. Massoud, whose credits include Amazon’s “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” and Hulu’s “Reprisal,” lauded “the power of art” [...]

  • 4127_D015_00199_RC(l-r) Laura Carmichael stars as Lady

    Box Office: 'Downton Abbey' Beats 'Ad Astra,' 'Rambo: Last Blood' on Thursday Night

    “Downton Abbey,” the movie continuation of the hit TV series centering on the Crawley family, has won Thursday previews with $2.1 million from 2,800 North American locations. Meanwhile, Brad Pitt’s space drama “Ad Astra” has launched with $1.5 million in previews, while Sylvester Stallone’s action-thriller “Rambo: Last Blood” scooped up $1.3 million at nearly 2,900 [...]

  • Renee Zellweger'Judy' film premiere, Arrivals, Samuel

    'Judy's' L.A. Premiere: Renée Zellweger Takes Another Ruby Step Toward the Oscars

    Renée Zellweger continues to follow the yellow brick road to the Oscars. The Los Angeles premiere of Judy on Thursday night in Beverly Hills kept the Academy Award winner on track for a possible second win come February. “We’re just so happy we’re able to share it with you tonight,” Zellweger said to the crowd [...]

  • Benedict Andrews (L) and US actress

    Kristen Stewart on the 'Insane Gall' of Directors as 'Seberg' Arrives in San Sebastian

    SAN SEBASTIAN – On Friday, Kristen Stewart and Benedict Andrews’ political thriller “Seberg” plays at the 67th San Sebastian Film Festival, where it opens Perlak, a section dedicated to the Spanish premieres of major international films. The star and her director addressed the media prior to the screening in the festival’s first high-profile press conference, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content