Hollywood is fighting for hostages -- or at least for the rights to potential films about those who were recently freed in Colombia. Variety reports that studio bigwigs and filmmakers are hot to get their hands on stories about the fifteen hostages released just last week. According to the report, "several potential projects are already taking shape and producers have begun tracking down almost everyone involved to make rights deals." Never let it be said that Hollywood is slow to act on a story. Slow to make an Indiana Jones sequel, perhaps, but not this. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that producers had stowed away on the commando helicopters that landed in the jungle.
The guild probably didn't celebrate Tom Hanks urging ratification of the AFTRA contract, either. See, the leadership is urging AFTRA (a sister union; many actors are in both unions) not to ratify, because ratification might make it more difficult for SAG to negotiate. In fact, it's become something of a battle between SAG and AFTRA. Two weeks ago, in fact, SAG falsely claimed Hanks and George Clooney were anti-AFTRA. If there was any lingering doubt, I think Hanks' signature on the email shattered that.
Perhaps the intoxicating knowledge that they're working in a fairly recession-proof industry has gone to the heads of those actors at the top of the Screen Actors Guild hierarchy. It's the only thing that could explain why now, when the economy has reached the "crisis" stage and is in the proverbial crapper, would SAG decide to put a strike authorization to vote. Yes, now. Awesome idea, guys!
Since the news cycle is still pretty clogged with election results and stories (even Variety has an electoral map on their home page) and the rest of the world -- including Hollywood -- can't seem to get much of a word in edge-wise, I'm going to follow Odie's lead and report on a politics-movie tie-in. Over at The Hollywood Reporter's Risky Biz Blog, Steven Zeitchik explored the possibility of whether or not Republican Presidents are bad for movies. It turns out they kind of are.