The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is the latest TV series moving forward with production amidst the ongoing writers' strike. However, the production will happen without its showrunners on set.
As per Variety, the series has 19 days of filming remaining but per the rules set by the Writers Guild of America (WGA), J.D. Payne, Patrick McKay and any other writer-producers are barred from participating in any writing-based duties during production while the strike continues — including contributing to any creative decisions on set.
The Rings of Power's non-writing executive producers (like Lindsey Weber), directors (Charlotte Brandstrom, Sanaa Hamri, and Louise Hooper) and crew are overseeing production on the UK-set shoot.
If the report is to be believed, there have been multiple units filming on The Rings of Power, including night shoots, for much of the duration of the season given its feature-film level scope — both in terms of runtime and production. Payne and McKay also planned in advance with the production team for a possible writers' strike, so their absence from the show does not hamper the production much.
The pressure on all current film and TV productions during the writers' strike is compounded by the looming June 30 contract deadline for SAG-AFTRA and the DGA. If those guilds and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers — which represents Hollywood studios — fail to reach a new contract agreement by that date, actors and directors could join the writers' strike, leading to an even bigger industry-wide shutdown.
More than 11,000 members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) began the strike on Tuesday, claiming they aren't paid fairly in the streaming era. This led to the knockdown of late-night talk shows and threaten the production of movies and TV shows, including any upcoming ones in the fall season. This marks Hollywood's first writer's strike since 2007, which at the time, left late-night hosts with no jokes or lines to recite.
“Though we negotiated intent on making a fair deal ... the studios' responses to our proposals have been wholly insufficient, given the existential crisis writers are facing,” said a statement from the union leadership. “They have closed the door on their labour force and opened the door to writing as an entirely freelance profession. No such deal could ever be contemplated by this membership.”
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2 will follow suit in terms of episode count, ultimately leading up to 50 hours worth of LOTR content on Amazon Prime Video. McKay confirmed in an earlier interview that the new chapter will introduce Círdan the Shipwright, who carries one of the three rings forged by Celebrimbor. The production recently added Ciarán Hinds (Game of Thrones), Rory Kinnear (Men), and Tanya Moodie (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) to the cast lineup.
Currently, there is no release window for The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power season 2. You can catch up on the entire eight-episode-long first season on Amazon Prime Video.
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