Even though the economy is in what's cheerily being called a "downturn," you wouldn't know it from the bustle around Hollywood studios lately, with more than 40 films being hustled into production for next spring and summer. Because of the writer's strike and the looming threat of an actor's strike, most studios halted production in late 2007 and, as a result, don't have much of a slate for their 2010-2011 release schedule. The few films that did go into production following the writer's strike had strike protection insurance in case the actors -- who still haven't reached an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and remain without a new contract -- decided to have a strike of their own. Now desperate to fill theaters with their usual crap in two years, studios are pushing to get movies made, crossing their fingers that the actor's union in-fighting continues.
These scads of new films -- hundreds of millions of dollars worth, which have already been cleared for production financing -- will not have strike protection available to them. Studios stand to lose millions should the worst-case scenario hit and the actors go ahead with a strike. I know it's Hollywood, but I don't know if I'd put that kind of money on the whims and decision-making skills of actors. Don't they read US Weekly?
Still, with the economy being where it is, people do tend to turn to the relatively cheap entertainment offered at their local multiplex, and may even turn out in numbers to see at least a few of the films that will begin filming come 2009 -- including Tron, Thor, Robocop, Iron Man 2, Sex and the City 2, Bioshock, Gears of War, A-Team and The Green Hornet. Fill out your 2010-2011 viewing calendar by checking out a list of all of the films here. See you at the movies!