A secret bonus of the writer’s strike is that it gives some studios an excuse to deep-six pictures that may not fit as well into the tastes of current audiences. Buried inside the the Hollywood Reporter story about United Artists making an independent deal with the Writer’s Guild is the news that one of the movies those writers won’t be working on is Oliver Stone’s Pinkville. The movie is another trip by the obsessed director to Vietnam, this time covering the My Lai Massacre.

UA put the movie on hold in November because it needed script rewrites and with the strike in full swing, Stone (or any guild writer) was prohibited from doing them. The behind-the-scenes whispering was that UA’s bomb, Lions for Lambs, wised the studio decision makers up to the fact that audiences aren’t interested in these “America Sucks” political diatribes. The strike was just a convienient excuse to drop the project.

This seems to be bolstered by reports that even if UA does sign an agreement with the WGA, Pinkville isn’t going to move forward. The actors involved have moved onto other projects. So, despite all the lost jobs and wasted opportunities, the strike may have given all of us a break by putting the kibosh on a dreary sounding Oliver Stone picture. We can only hope.

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