×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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.

More Film

  • Mindy Kaling (L) and Director Nisha

    Women Directors and Writers Make Gains in Independent Films But Lag on Parity

    Women directors, writers, editors and producers are making inroads, reaching historic highs in the world of independent films — while still lagging in reaching parity with men, a new study shows. The latest Indie Women study, released Tuesday, found that women achieved record-setting levels as directors (33% in 2018-19, up from 29% in 2017-18), writers [...]

  • David Shin

    Disney Shuffles Management in Hong Kong, Australia

    Disney has reshuffled its management in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australasia following the March completion of its 21st Century Fox takeover. In Hong Kong and New Zealand, Fox executives have been elevated. In Australia and New Zealand, Disney’s management is staying on. David Shin has been appointed VP and GM of The Walt Disney Company [...]

  • SHANGHAI, CHINA - JUNE 17: Liu

    Shanghai: Chinese Movies Dominate AACTA Asian Film Award Nominations

    Chinese sci-fi hit “The Wandering Earth,” China’s Cannes competition film “Wild Goose Lake,” and Korea’s Palme d’Or-winner “Parasite” are among the nominees for the AACTA Award for best Asian film. The nominees were announced at an event on Monday on the margins of the Shanghai International Film Festival. The winners will be presented on Dec. [...]

  • Jenni Rivera Biopic

    Authorized Jenni Rivera Biopic in the Works

    An authorized biopic of the late singer Jenni Rivera is in the works, seven years after she died in a plane crash at the age of 43. The life rights deal was announced Tuesday with an agreement between Jenni Rivera Enterprises and producers Javier Chapa and Simon Wise of Mucho Mas Media and Donald De [...]

  • Judi Dench

    ‘Blithe Spirit’ With Judi Dench, Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher Scores International Sales

    Filming has started on “Blithe Spirit,” an adaptation of Noel Coward’s classic comedy about love that just won’t die. Judi Dench, Isla Fisher and Dan Stevens are among the cast in the picture, which is helmed by Edward Hall (“Downton Abbey”). Protagonist has closed a raft of pre-sales on the project, which was previously adapted [...]

  • Edward Cheng, Tencent Pictures CEO

    Tencent Pictures' Lineup Is a Mix of Hollywood Content and Chinese Propaganda

    A slate of Chinese propaganda films rubs shoulders with high-profile Hollywood movies on Tencent Pictures’ upcoming lineup.  The firm confirmed its investment in U.S. projects including TriStar Pictures’ “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” a film about beloved TV host Mr. Rogers, starring Tom Hanks; “Monster Hunter,” Paul W.S. Anderson’s next film adaptation of a [...]

  • Night scenery of the Bund in

    Shanghai: Festivals Grapple With How to Stay Relevant in the Digital Era

    Festival organizers from around the world Tuesday discussed the challenges of remaining relevant in a digital era at a Shanghai International Film Festival forum. The Festival do Rio’s executive director, Ilda Santiago, noted that online platforms are now an unavoidable part of the film business and creative process, and that “of course not all of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content