The SAG-AFTRA strike prevents actors in the union from participating in film productions under union stipulations, but there have been numerous waivers granted for productions that are truly independent and not associated with the major studio system repped by AMPTP. However, some productions are having to implement more creative workarounds to get production on track, such as the upcoming FX Alien prequel series. Rather than halt production, the series has picked filming back up in Thailand without any of the SAG-AFTRA stars.
The Alien prequel series coming to FX is getting around the SAG-AFTRA strike but not using any union members.
Deadline reported that the Alien cast members in the American union, such as Sydney Chandler, aren’t currently participating in the production. However, the series is an Equity production, which is the trade union in the UK. So, actors like Alex Lawther, who is affiliated with Equity, are able to continue filming in Thailand.
It’s unlikely that the Equity actors on the Alien series wouldn’t participate in the production because performers affiliated with Equity have been told they could be sued for breach of contract if they walk off in solidarity with the American union.
Deadline reported that three of the cast members are SAG-AFTRA affiliated, so it makes sense that the series would still be able to do quite a bit of filming with the other performers being affiliated with Equity. However, it’s hard to imagine that the striking actors will be too happy with FX taking advantage of this workaround as they strike for better pay and AI regulation.
Only three cast members on the Alien series are part of SAG-AFTRA, which means a lot of filming can be done without them.
The Alien prequel series was created by Noah Hawley, who had completed all of the scripts before the WGA writer’s strike was called in May. Since the scripts were completed, the series was gearing up for filming and was one week away from beginning production when the SAG-AFTRA strike was called.
It seems like the filming will be relatively unaffected as well since the series employs roughly 400 Thai nationals for the production crew and is being filmed in Thai locations such as Bangkok’s Studio Park.
For now, it seems the SAG-AFTRA actors cast for the Alien series are simply pushing their filming dates as far as possible until the strike is over. Along with Chandler and Lawther, the other cast members of the series include Samuel Blenkin, Boy Kavalier, Essie Davis, Dame Silvia, and Adarsh Gourav. At this point, there’s no telling when the strike will end as the AMPTP’s stance on streaming residuals and AI regulation seem pretty far from the WGA and SAG-AFTRA’s asks.
The Alien prequel is going to take place on Earth for the first time in the franchise’s history.
Until the three parties return to the negotiating table again, there will be quite a few major productions in limbo until agreeable terms are reached.
As for the Alien show, it seems possible that it may stay relatively on track for production since post-production work can be done on any of the scenes they’re able to film without the SAG-AFTRA actors. The series is set to be a prequel to the original film’s events and will take place on Earth, which is a first for the franchise.
Not much else is known about the Alien prequel at this time. A new movie from the franchise is also on the way, which has already entered the post-production phases. We’ll keep you updated on this as the strike and the situation develops.