Dear John immune to strike



We don't have to worry about Dear John being affected by yet another Hollywood strike.

According to publicist Scott Levine, Dear John is set to wrap on Dec. 16, well before the Screen Actors Guild, Hollywood's largest union, can rally the votes needed to force a work stoppage.

And besides, Levine says, Dear John is an independent production of Relativity Media and Screen Gems (out of Wilmington, N.C.). It's been free of obligations facing major studios.

The movie, based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks, is about a combat soldier who falls in love with a idealistic college student. It stars Tatum Channing (Stop-Loss), Amanda Seyfried, (Mamma Mia!) and Richard Jenkins (The Visitor, Six Feet Under) as a distant father.

The Screen Actors Guild decided to ask its members to strike after talks with a consortium of movie studios failed to yield expected results — mostly rights to revenue generated from online content, similar grounds for a strike by the writers guild last year.

City Paper learned that people behind Army Wives, the popular Lifetime show made in Charleston, are worried about a strike. The show's second season ended in October. Shooting for a third begins in January, when SAG learns the results of its strike.

But many think those worries are misguided. Insiders told Patrick Goldstein, writing in the Los Angeles Times, that few take SAG's threat seriously and few believe it will happened at all, because of divisions among the union's top leadership and an ailing economy.

Time will tell, of course. SAG needs 75 percent of members who cast a ballot to greenlight a strike. —John Stoehr

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