The Penguin Joins The Picket Line: ‘The Batman’ Spinoff Suspends Production Due To Writers Strike
Production of The Penguin character's spin-off of The Batman goes into hibernation due to the ongoing writers' strike.
In The Batman, Colin Farrell’s Oz Cobblepot proved he was no rat, and by extension in real life, he proves he doesn’t cross the picket line. Production on the spinoff starring Farrell as Gotham’s biggest gangster is the latest to halt in solidarity with the striking writers, and this energy has rubbed off on the set of the series.
According to Deadline, the plan a week and a half ago was to film scenes in Westchester, New York, but filming was shut down when Teamsters and local guilds decided not to cross the line and support picketers from WGA East once they showed up. On social media, the Union bragged about accomplishing this feat and speaking “Truth to Penguin.”
The Deadline coverage adds, “picketers also got to the show’s sites ahead of the crews on Wednesday, both for the on-location shoot at a church in Harlem and the set at Silvercup North. No filming was done that day.” And, “All in all,” the show was dark most of the week except for “smaller scenes” shot in Brooklyn.
How long production will be paused is a mystery, but The Penguin joins a growing list of movies and TV shows going into hibernation. The number of superhero-related projects includes Daredevil: Born Again and Wonder Man produced by Marvel for Disney Plus. WGA’s current strike started on May 2nd to call for better pay and more propitious hours.
The writers are also reacting to the advent and burgeoning trend of AI being used as a part of their process by major studios. Director and former Family Ties cast member Justine Bateman excoriated the practice as an unhelpful advancement. “I think AI has no place in Hollywood at all. To me, tech should solve problems that humans have,” she said to Fox News.
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“Using ChatGPT or any… software that’s using AI to write screenplays, using that in place of a writer is not solving a problem. We don’t have a lack of writers. We don’t have a lack of actors. We don’t have a lack of directors. We don’t have a lack of talented people,” Bateman added, although her points might be debatable.