In what could be the first major victory for the the Writers Guild of America, United Artists-- the independent movie studio started by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, D.W. Griffith, and Douglas Fairbanks as an "F.U." to the studio system, and now run by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner-- has closed a deal with the WGA... agreeing to all the writers' requests: new media residuals, jurisdiction over animation and reality TV, everything! Check out the full story at Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily.
The deal basically mirrors the deal signed last week by David Letterman's Worldwide Pants, but this is a much bigger deal. First of all, while Letterman gave the writers all the backend and internet residuals they wanted, talk shows like Late Night With David Letterman and Late Late Night With Craig Ferguson don't have much backend or a huge online presence, so yeah-- it's great that Letterman agreed, but there's not much value to his agreements.
Secondly, David Letterman is a WGA member, so it's not a huge shocker that he'd make a deal. But United Artists' agreement represents the first time non-WGA members-- and a producer of major movies-- has agreed to the WGA's proposals. This totally validates the reasonability of what the WGA is asking for.
It also gives United Artists a huge leg up over the other studios, as the company can now begin hiring WGA writers and producing movies... while the rest of the studios are stuck in the mud, refusing to give in to the WGA's reasonable requests and remaining unable to make TV shows or movies.
Supposedly, the other studios are furious that United Artists and MGM, with whom UA is partnered. And any time studio chiefs are pissed off... that's a good thing.
To read the actual Worldwide Pants deal in its entirety, which is basically the same as the United Artists deal, click below...