Two More Movies Strike Out
Perplexing analysts who had predicted that the writers' strike would have little impact on movie making in its early stages and that TV alone would take the initial brunt, two more studios announced Monday that they have postponed production of features they were about to shoot. The films were Warner Bros.' Shantaram, starring Johnny Depp, and The Weinstein Co.'s Nine, starring Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, Sophia Loren and Marion Cotillard. Both studios said that the screenplays required additional work. Earlier, Sony's Columbia announced that it was delaying the Da Vinci Code prequel, Angels and Demons and United Artists said it was postponing Oliver Stone's Pinkville for the same reason. Meanwhile, both the film and TV businesses were bracing for the possibility that the writers' strike could shut down the Oscar awards in February. Syndicated gossip columnist Liz Smith asked today (Tuesday): "How can they hold the Oscars if there are no writers? No self-respecting, or self-protective, actor would cross the inevitable picket line -- not even to pick up an Oscar."