Jennifer Lopez's Film 'Unstoppable' Faces Production Halt Due to WGA Picketing
Jennifer Lopez's highly-anticipated film 'Unstoppable' has encountered an unexpected obstacle as production was temporarily halted for a day amidst picketing by the Writers Guild of America (WGA). The wrestling drama, also starring Jharrel Jerome, had to pause its shooting schedule due to the ongoing protest near the USC shooting location.
The newly established production company, Artists Equity, co-founded by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon with RedBird Capital, has chosen not to provide any comments on the matter. It remains uncertain whether filming will resume the following day.
During the early morning hours, approximately 15 to 25 picketers arrived at the base camp of 'Unstoppable,' aiming to maintain a lockdown of the premises that has multiple entry points. Sources have revealed that the picketing activity gained momentum around 6 a.m. This marks the first instance of the production being picketed, despite having been in progress for the past two weeks.
'Unstoppable,' the second feature project by Artists Equity after the critically acclaimed Nike drama 'Air,' which garnered recognition at the SXSW Film Festival and later released in theaters and on Prime Video, narrates the inspiring true story of Anthony Robles (portrayed by Jharrel Jerome), a three-time All-American wrestler who overcame the odds and triumphed in a national championship at Arizona State, despite being born with one leg.
Billy Goldenberg, Acclaimed Editor, Makes Directorial Debut with 'Unstoppable' alongside Jennifer Lopez
Billy Goldenberg, the esteemed Academy Award-winning editor known for his collaboration with Ben Affleck on films such as "Argo," is stepping into the director's chair for the first time with the film "Unstoppable." Working closely with the real-life inspiration, Anthony Robles, Goldenberg takes on the challenge of bringing this inspiring story to the big screen. Having previously worked with Affleck, the duo brings their creative synergy to this project.
While Artists Equity, the production company co-founded by Affleck and Matt Damon, had been in discussions with Amazon regarding the film, it is currently unclear where the final distribution deal will land.
In an interview with Deadline, a crew member of "Unstoppable" highlighted the irony of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) targeting Artists Equity, a company dedicated to promoting equitable wages for all involved in the production process. The crew member emphasized the importance of distinguishing the approach taken by the WGA, as they are essentially picketing an independent production that strives to ensure fair compensation for everyone.
At its launch, Artists Equity emphasized its commitment to expanding profit participation, offering performance-based incentives to both creators and crew members, aiming to provide a platform for all participants in the production value chain to share in the film's success.