Lionsgate, Marvel ink WGA deals

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Lionsgate and Marvel Studios are the latest film companies to reach an interim work agreement with the WGA.

The Lionsgate agreement is similar to the deals the WGA recently made with United Artists, Worldwide Pants, Spyglass Entertainment, MRC, Jackson Bites, Mandate Films and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, the WGA said. The terms for Marvel Entertainment subsidiary Marvel Studios were not disclosed.

Separately on Thursday, WGA reps concluded their second day of informal talks with top studio executives, a prelude to more formal contract negotiations. The talks are scheduled to resume today.

United Artists was the first film company to make a deal with the guild after the strike began, allowing the company to resume development of its productions.

The WGA applauded Thursday's deals.

"We are pleased Lionsgate has joined the growing number of companies that have signed interim agreements with the writers guild," WGA West president Patric Verrone and WGA East president Michael Winship said. "Lionsgate is considered a leader in the industry, and its signing an interim agreement again confirms that it is possible for both writers to be compensated fairly and respectfully for their work and for companies to operate profitably. … Marvel Studios' signing of an interim agreement with the writers guild is more good news for our membership. Marvel is committed to fairly compensating their writers, and now they can move forward with their planned production schedule."

Meanwhile, the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers said: "These one-off agreements are meaningless because the companies signing them know they will not have to abide by their terms for very long, since they'll be superseded by whatever final industrywide accords are reached. If companies truly had to live by the terms of these one-off agreements, we are confident none would ever be signed."

Said Lionsgate: "The writers' issue seems on its way to being solved, and Lionsgate felt it was an important time, particularly in view of our television series, to have our writer partners get back to work. We look forward to a broad industry agreement soon."
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