The writers strike in the US has been ongoing for two months with no end in sight and a few days ago, the actors guild of America, SAG-AFTRA launched their own strike, which halted a lot of productions. What does this mean for Netflix’s The Witcher?
The Witcher Season 4 and the SAG/WGA strikes
As we reported earlier, Season 4 of The Witcher is largely unaffected by the writers strike as it’s already written. That being said, writing on Season 5 cannot begin until the strike is over and plans to film Season 4 and Season 5 may not be as smooth as they used to be before the strikes. It is still the plan, but we’ll see how it goes.
The actors strike, however, is more complicated. The US has SAG-AFTRA as their actors union, while the UK has Equity. If you are a member of both or just Equity, and your work is in the UK, you must continue filming under the UK laws. Here’s a quote from Equity:
“A performer joining the strike (or refusing to cross a picket line) in the U.K. will have no protection against being dismissed or sued for breach of contract by the producer or the engager. Likewise, if Equity encourages anyone to join the strike or not cross a picket line, Equity itself will be acting unlawfully and hence liable for damages or an injunction.“
The vast majority of The Witcher cast are from the UK, therefore members of Equity, with some possibly being SAG as well, so it shouldn’t affect Season 4 too much. Not unlike House of the Dragon Season 2 that continues filming despite the strikes. In summary, it should be fine.
What about Australian actor Liam Hemsworth? We don’t know for certain what his memberships are, but he has mostly done US and Australian productions in his career, so he must be SAG and MEAA.
We can’t say for certain what his Witcher contract entails regarding SAG/Equity and whether the strike affects him specifically. On top of that, Eamon Farren (Cahir) and Mahesh Jadu (Vilgefortz) are Australian as well, so we would imagine that wouldn’t be much of an issue.
Nevertheless, Liam has been settling in the UK for the last two weeks, so at the very least he can do prep and training for now.
Can The Witcher Season 4 still begin filming in September?
We have previously reported that the planned start date for The Witcher Season 4 was September 2023, but that was before the SAG-AFTRA strike.
There’s a new reported date of September 4 by Production List, but we must stress that it a little outdated info, so we don’t really know what the situation is right now.
We do know that proper pre-production for The Witcher Season 4 on a large scale hasn’t started yet, only a few things here and there, so filming on September 4 seems unlikely as of today.
Perhaps late September or even October, if they pick up the pace soon and if there are no strike-related complications.
The Witcher Season 3 is available on Netflix with The Rats prequel in post-production and The Witcher: Sirens of the Deep anime by Studio Mir is far in production. Stay tuned to Redanian Intelligence and do pop into our Discord server to join in on The Witcher conversation.