Amid all the noise here at the Cannes Film Festival about sexual predators, Johnny Depp’s return in Jeanne du Barry tonight and the admitted assaulting history of that movie’s director Maïwenn; the WGA strike is not forgotten.
Fielding questions Tuesday about striking writers back in Hollywood who’ve been beaten down by streaming, the big-screen Cannes Film Festival jurors had something to say at their opening press conference.
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In a response winning him applause from the journalists in the room, Paul Dano said, “My wife is currently picketing with my 6-month-old, strapped to her chest,” said the actor. “I will be there on the picket line when I get back home.”
Dano is also a director and writer, having helmed and co-wrote Wildlife which played Cannes Critics Week back in 2018. The SAG-AFTRA contract expires at the end of June, together the DGA contract.
Cannes Jury boss and last year’s Palme d’Or winner, Triangle of Sadness filmmaker Ruben Ostlund, praised the strike, especially as a means to revolutionize one’s profession for the better.
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“I think it’s great to actually have a strong collegial feeling so you can go out and have this fight. I think that’s the way you can change the condition of your profession. Definitely, go,” he said.
Yesterday, Cocaine Bear director Elizabeth Banks, here at the Cannes market to promote her movie Dreamquil, a thriller about the dangers of AI, spoke out about the funky tech which is a major sticking point in WGA talks.
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“We have to hold the line as a community,” Banks told Deadline. “I include the producers and the studios in that community. AI is going to be a tool. There’s no doubt about it. It’s coming fast and furious. But I would like it to be a tool used by the writers and not the studios to replace the writers. And once that horse is out the barn, I don’t know why anybody believes their job isn’t next.”
Deadline has reached out to the WGA about any strike activities that could be occurring over here on the Croisette, and we’ll update you on their response. On Monday, a plane flew around all the major Hollywood studios over the course of three hours with a banner “Pay the Writers, You AI-holes.” It was a stunt organized by filmmaker Jacob Reed. Given the numbers of planes that buzz above the beaches here in Cannes, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for similar messages in the Mediterranean skies.
Don’t expect to find any visiting WGA writers, protesting here on the Croisette. The local police chief announced an outright ban on all protests in public places for the duration of the 76th festival (May 16-27) amid local tensions over unpopular pension reforms.
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