Star Wars Episode VIII, which is already pushed back by Disney and Lucasfilm to December 2017 due to re-writes following the enormous positive response to the new lead characters, could be pushed back even further due to a looming strike by lighting technicians.
According to The Independent, British film lighting technicians haven’t received a pay raise for four years and are threatening to go on strike if their demands aren’t met.
As The Independent reports, negotiations with the technicians had broken down last week as the producer’s trade body pact had offered a raise of only two percent while the demand was for a 20 percent raise to cover for four years of back-dated pay.
After talks broke down, producers from nine films who are getting affected intervened and scheduled a last ditch meeting to prevent a strike. They met with Bectu representatives at Warner Bros. studios, Leavesden in Hertfordshire and offered a pay raise between five and eight and a half percent depending on the technicians’ expertise and responsibilities.
The 600 technicians at Bectu will either vote in favour of or against the offer today. The production of Rian Johnson’s “Star Wars” Episode VIII will depend on the electronic vote.
Other films among the nine that are at risk are “Wonder Woman” starring Gal Gadot, “The Foreigner” with Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan and “The Mummy” reboot starring Tom Cruise.
According to Gerry Morrissey, general secretary of Bectu, all nine productions are at risk of stopping on this Saturday. “In order to shoot a film properly you need lighting. If there’s no lighting, you can’t get a decent picture. Without a decent picture you haven’t got a film,” he said.
“As individuals, they made the decision to give a week’s notice to terminate their contracts on all the major feature films after the pay talks broke down,” Mr. Morrissey said.
This is indeed an alarming prospect especially for fans of “Star Wars” who are eagerly awaiting the release of the already delayed “Star Wars” Episode VIII film. The possibility that the release date may be pushed further to 2018 is increasing, especially when the untitled Han Solo anthology movie is also supposed to be released on May that year.