Tron: Ares director Joachim Rønning has spoken out about the impact of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike on the production of his latest movie. The Disney film, which stars Jarred Leto, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Evan Peters, was ready to begin filming this week. However, the production is indefinitely delayed due to the strike, resulting in the laying off of around 150 crew members.
Rønning, although supportive of the strike, has appealed to those on both sides to speed things up and avoid prolonging the situation.
Sharing his feelings on Instagram, Rønning wrote: “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,” he adds. “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.
Rønning’s post on Instagram comes on what was supposed to be the first day of production on Tron: Ares. He shares that note with dismay, “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 adds. “The AMPTP, SAG-AFTRA, and WGA need to speed up the negotiating process and 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?”
Rønning went on to note how aggravating this strike has been, saying, “These tactics are extremely frustrating. It’s time for diplomacy so we can get back to work – under conditions that are fair to everybody.”
While Tron: Ares is billed as a sequel to the 2010 movie Tron: Legacy, it has yet to be confirmed if Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde or Garrett Hedlund will return for the flick.