David Fincher Laments Hollywood Strike: ‘I Can Understand Both Sides’

Like every big Hollywood name attending the Venice Film Festival, “The Killer” director David Fincher was asked about the ongoing double actors’ and writers’ strike that kept the stars of his new film away from the luxurious Italian showcase.

“I’m very sad, obviously. I sit in the middle of both parties,” Fincher said. “This movie was made during the pandemic… we just got done with three years of having to set our brushes down and walk away. The idea of that continuing on, especially now… is particularly sad to me. I can see both sides, and all we can do is encourage them to talk.”

Such talks don’t seem to be happening anytime soon, as the Writers Guild of America and AMPTP have not met since Aug. 22. That’s when leaders of the WGA had a contentious talk with several top studio CEOs, who urged the guild to accept a proposal that the guild said was “neither nothing, nor nearly enough” in a memo sent to members.

Since then, studio insiders have told TheWrap that they feel like they are “negotiating against themselves” in talks with the WGA, while the writers are insisting that studios respond to their latest counteroffer. That follows an offer the studios made on Aug. 11, the first made by the AMPTP since the WGA strike began on May 1.

“Our demands come directly from the membership itself,” the guild wrote in a memo. “They address the existential threats to the profession of writing and to our individual careers, all caused by changes to the business model implemented by the companies in the last seven to ten years.”

Fincher’s comments contrasted with those of Adam Driver, starring in biopic “Ferrari,” who is among the few prominent Hollywood actors attending Venice this year. That’s thanks to SAG-AFTRA’s interim agreement. Driver firmly took the side of the actors’ guild and spoke against top Hollywood streamers.

“Why is it that a smaller distribution company like Neon and STX International can meet the dream demands of what SAG is asking for — this is pre-negotiations — the dream version of SAG’s wishlist, but a big company like Netflix and Amazon can’t?” Driver said. “And every time people from SAG go and support a movie that has met the terms of the interim agreement, it just makes it more obvious that these people are willing to support the people that they collaborate with, and the others are not.”

Fincher’s film, “The Killer,” is being released by Netflix — as one of the company’s the strike is against, the film didn’t qualify for SAG-AFTRA’s interim agreement. That kept the film’s cast, led by Michael Fassbender, away from the festival. The film stars Fassbender as an assassin who gets embroiled in an international manhunt after a hit job goes wrong.

Netflix will release “The Killer” in select theaters on Oct. 27 and to streaming on Nov. 10.

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