While HBO Max has officially launched production on its long-gestating IT prequel series Welcome to Derry, things have taken a much different turn over at Netflix's Stranger Things, where production on the show's fifth and final season has been put on hold due to the ongoing WGA strike.
Over the weekend, the Duffer Bros. tweeted out a joint statement which spelled things out in no uncertain terms:
“Writing does not stop when filming begins. While we’re excited to start production with our amazing cast and crew, it is not possible during this strike. We hope a fair deal is reached soon so we can all get back to work. Until then — over and out. #wgastrong.”
The final batch of Stranger Things episodes was due to begin filming very soon, and the season itself wasn't expected to start rolling out on Netflix for some time. There's no telling how long the WGA strike will last, but it certainly sounds like the Duffers (and their talented writing staff) are committed to not moving forward with the final season until everything's been settled. Good for them!
It's likely we'll be seeing a number of these stories in the weeks ahead, with some productions shutting down while others forge ahead without their writers in tow. Right now it feels like there's very little wiggle room between what the WGA is after (fair wages, residuals for streaming content, assurances that human writers won't be replaced with A.I.) and what the AMPTP is willing to negotiate on (for now, virtually nothing). Fingers crossed this gets resolved sooner rather than later, and the writers get everything they're asking for.
Stay tuned for more on the final season of Stranger Things and the ongoing WGA strike as further updates roll in.