The Walt Disney Company laid off over 150 crew members for its upcoming Tron: Ares production due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America (WGA) strikes.
Tron: Ares director Joachim Rønning made the announcement on his Instagram account.
He began, “The absolute best moments of my career have been watching an actor perform in front of the camera – taking the scene and the text to a higher place. I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with amazing talent. It’s a huge part of why I’m a filmmaker. However, like myself, being an actor or a writer, means you’re a freelancer. And I can tell you, the constant uncertainty is not for everyone. To that end I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for a better safety net.”
From there, Rønning shared his support for the strikes, “Many of my best friends are writers. Everything starts with the story. Everything starts with you. That must continue. And that means that AI needs to be regulated. There is no doubt about the threat the technology poses to all creatives.”
Next, he detailed that The Walt Disney Company laid off 150 members of what would have been Tron: Ares’ crew for principal photography, “Today was supposed to be our first day of principal photography on TRON: ARES (a movie subsequently about AI and what it means, and takes, to be human). Instead, we are shut down with over a hundred and fifty people laid off. It’s indefinite, which makes it exponentially harder for everyone.”
He then called for a deal to be made, “The AMPTP, SAG-AFTRA and WGA need to not leave the table until it’s done. This is Hollywood. We close deals for breakfast. Why do we suddenly have all the time in the world when every day is so precious? These tactics are extremely frustrating. It’s time for diplomacy so we can get back to work – under conditions that are fair to everybody.”
View this post on Instagram
The film is expected to star Jared Leto as well as Greta Lee, Evan Peters, Jodie Turner-Smith, Cameron Monaghan, and Sarah Desjardins.
The Hollywood Reporter noted back in July that the film “will spend more time in the real world” compared to the previous two installments in the Tron franchise.
Deadline also reported the film is expected to “follow Leto’s computer program Ares on a journey from the digital world to that of humans.”
The original Tron film starring Jeff Bridges released in 1982 and grossed $26.9 million at the box office.
A 2010 follow-up in Tron: Legacy saw Bridges return to the role where he was joined by Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, James Frain, Beau Garrett, and Michael Sheen. That film grossed $399.8 million at the global box office on a $200 million production budget.
Following the 2010 film, The Walt Disney Company created the animated series Tron Uprising in 2012. It lasted only a single season.
What do you make of Rønning revealing the dual strikes are causing production companies to begin laying off crew members?