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What we won't be seeing on the big screen soon as Hollywood strikes delay premieres


The new film "Challengers," starring Zendaya, was supposed to open the Venice Film Festival this week - didn't happen. The film was pulled from the schedule. The release date moved because of the Hollywood strikes against major studios. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports it's just one of many things that will be different this fall film season.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Denis Villeneuve's sequel, "Dune: Part Two," was supposed to open November 3. Now it's scheduled for March 15 of next year.


REBECCA FERGUSON: (As Lady Jessica Atreides) We gave them something to hope for.

TIMOTHEE CHALAMET: (As Paul Atreides) That's not hope.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO: "Dune 2" was originally expected to be a huge fall film for the studios and movie theaters. So was another movie with Zendaya, "Challengers," about a hot, young tennis pro and her two suitors.


ZENDAYA: (As Tashi Donaldson) What makes you think I want someone to be in love with me?

MANDALIT DEL BARCO: "Challengers" also got pushed back to 2024, as did a new Godzilla and King Kong movie.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) And if he defeats Godzilla...


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) ...It will be the end of all of us.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO: Hollywood studios say the double strikes by screenwriters and actors have thrown a monkey wrench into their usually carefully coordinated scheduling, which also included the latest "Lord Of The Rings" movie and a sequel to "Dirty Dancing." Sony moved back the release date of its upcoming "Ghostbusters" sequel and other movies, and the studio even wiped "Spider-Man: Beyond The Spider-Verse" from its 2024 slate. Disney says it's delaying each of the next three "Avatar" movies by a year. But on the podcast "The Town With Matt Belloni," the CEO of Imax, Rich Gelfond, says he's not too worried about the delays.


RICH GELFOND: I'm not exactly crying in my basement in the fetal position.


MANDALIT DEL BARCO: Gelfond says Imax had 22% of the global box office with the first "Dune" movie, and the company cleaned up with this summer's release, "Oppenheimer." He says he's looking forward to showing films that, as of today, are still scheduled for this fall, including the newest blockbuster sequels and also Martin Scorsese's film "Killers Of The Flower Moon," starring Leonardo DiCaprio, which comes out in October.


GELFOND: "Dune" moves. We're going to play the Marvels. We're going to play "Hunger Games." We're going to give more screen time to "Flower Moon" than we could have.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO: And just announced yesterday is a big-screen movie already setting pre-sale records, the concert film of Taylor Swift's current tour. But as the big movies are reshuffled, the delays could open space for smaller and independent films. Many of them are premiering at the Venice and Telluride film festivals that opened this week in a less glitzy way than usual. Under SAG-AFTRA's rules, actors cannot promote movies produced by any of the major studios they're striking against. At Telluride, Emma Stone reportedly spent her own money to attend - but not promote - the opening of her new movie, "Poor Things." But because the movie "Ferrari" was independently produced, its star, Adam Driver, was in full festival mode. At a press conference in Venice, Driver said he was proud to support the movie that's not a part of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.


ADAM DRIVER: Why is it that a smaller distribution company like Neon and STX International can meet the dream demands of SAG's wish list, but a big company like Netflix and Amazon can't?

MANDALIT DEL BARCO: As Hollywood's hot labor summer morphs into fall without an end to the strikes in sight, this remains a very strange year for movies and moviegoers. Mandalit del Barco, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

As an arts correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. Over the years, she has also covered everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos, filed from Los Angeles and abroad, can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Alt.latino, and npr.org.