We’re a little over two weeks out from Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid so it’s full steam ahead on all things mermaids, sea animals, and dashing Prince Charmings. Unfortunately, as updates go, the latest batch of behind-the-scenes footage from Rob Marshall’s underwater extravaganza has proven to be three parts exciting, one part worrying as we are left torn over which live-action characters to admire and which to fret over.
Meanwhile, movies that aren’t two weeks out from their release date are experiencing the brunt end of the writers’ strike, and unfortunately, Disney doesn’t seem to have found a balance between respecting its employees and holding them accountable.
Remember when The Little Mermaid was getting filleted over its dark lighting a couple of weeks back? Well, it’s happening again but this time with the famous “Kiss the Girl” scene. We’d love nothing more than to be swept up in Ariel and Prince Eric’s budding romance as Sebastian and co. harmonize melodies in the background but unfortunately, we can’t see a darn thing. The whole thing stinks — yet again — of the same complaints Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever bumped up against when it premiered on Disney Plus.
As some will recall, the specifically dark scenes in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever were not fully teased ahead of its release date because they contained spoilers. As such, it wasn’t much of an issue, especially since the scenes in question were acceptable under the guise of a dimly lit theater. By the time the movie reached Disney Plus, however, it was too late. Now, it seems The Little Mermaid is set to follow in Wakanda Forever’s footsteps; it likely won’t be a problem in theaters, but at home on the couch in the middle of the afternoon will be another matter entirely.
No studio, even Disney, is safe from the effects of a writers’ strike. Although the live-action Lilo & Stitch is already filming and The Little Mermaid is done and completed, movies like Blade and other Marvel projects are not out of the woods. Not to mention all the TV shows that are now in developmental hell as showrunners operate without scripts. Either way, Disney still expects its employees to report to their desks, not the picket lines.
In a letter from ABC’s legal department, which is owned by Disney and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the studio’s Bob McPhail hammered home the importance that showrunners tend to their non-writing duties amidst the strike, even if doing so directly violates WGA’s own mandates.
“We want specifically to reiterate to you as a showrunner or other writer-producer that you are not excused from performing your duties as a showrunner and/or producer on your series as a result of the WGA strike. Your personal services agreement with [the] Studio requires that you perform your showrunner and/or producing duties even if the WGA attempts to fine you for performing such services during the strike. Your duties as a showrunner and/or producer are not excused, suspended or terminated until and unless you are so notified in writing by the Studio.”
Ouch. We love you Disney, but we’re not sure how to feel about this one. As always, it’s nothing but the biggest problem for one of the biggest entertainment behemoths in the industry, i.e. there’s never a dull moment; stay tuned for more news coming your way tomorrow.
This content was originally published here.