Already, a number of upcoming films have had their release plans modified as a result of the SAG-AFTRA strike. Helen Mirren’s drama “White Bird” and A24’s Julio Torres’ comedy “Problemista” were due to launch in August and are now without an official release date, while “Challengers”, a tennis romance starring Zendaya, on Friday abdicated its prestigious slot as the opening night title at the Venice Film Festival, which begins on August 30. ize on a star press push at Venice. Now “Challengers” has moved to April 2024, according to Deadline.

Venice and the Toronto International Film Festival will announce their full lineups next week, and while those slates have the chance to build on the film-loving momentum offered by “Barbenheimer” weekend, many wonder if they’ll be missing the star-studded prestige titles that studios usually send there. “If ‘Oppenheimer’ was a fall movie and I took it to Toronto, I think we probably at this point would decide not to take it,” said that film’s awards strategist, Tony Angelotti, citing the cost of booking travel and lodging for the cast and crew of a major motion picture: “Will they refund your money if the strike continues?”

As Hollywood prepares for the next strike-related shoe to drop, Scott Sanders is feeling an unwelcome case of déjà vu. As one of the producers of a new film-musical adaptation of “The Color Purple,” Sanders has spent months mulling over a meticulous release strategy for the Fantasia Barrino-led film, due in theaters on Christmas Day. But this hard work could be canceled if Warner Bros. will delay the film, as it did three years ago with another musical produced by Sanders: “In the Heights” was pushed a full year to June 2021 due to the pandemic, and then released simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.

Sanders said the studio assured him that so far, there have been no discussions about pushing “The Color Purple” into 2024. However, he said, “If the other big holiday movies or award-winning movies start to shift, frankly, I’m going to be nervous.” He added, “The optimist in me thinks we have six or seven more weeks before we have to start taking Pepto Bismol.”

Sanders said the hype around “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” could rekindle a love of cinema, but there may be few titles left to take advantage of it. “Are we going to continue the momentum from this weekend?” he said. “Or are we going to suddenly lift the shutdown in the next month or two and go back to square one?”

If that string is pulled, it will have a significant ripple effect. Theaters that have barely come back from the brink since the pandemic would be tested again, while the films already dated for 2024 may be forced to clear space. And without the usual influx of year-end prestige films, this year’s awards season could look very different — and, in other ways, all too familiar.

“Worst case scenario, every studio on the planet decides to move their fourth quarter movies into next year,” Sanders mused. “Suddenly, the last contenders for awards are ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’. So what’s going on?”

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