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Hollywood writers reach agreements with two studios
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Hollywood writers will be allowed to work on two film studios' projects under two separate agreements reached on Thursday, said the Writers Guild of America (WGA).

The WGA said it reached the agreements with Lionsgate and Marvel Studios after difficult negotiations.

Lionsgate is the production company behind upcoming films such as Rambo, The Eye, Punisher 2, Saw 5 and The Spirit. It also produces cable television series.

"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," said Patric Verrone and Michael Winship, presidents of the WGA's west and east branches, respectively.

The agreement with Marvel Studios allows writers to resume work on its development slate, including Captain America, Thor, Ant-Man and The Avengers, said studio Chairman David Maisel.

The recently formed Marvel Studios is a subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment, Inc. It is scheduled to release its comic-book film projects Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk this summer.

Verrone and Winship said they were pleased with signing of the two agreements.

The WGA has previously reached interim agreements with other production companies such as United Artists, Worldwide Pants, Spyglass Entertainment, MRC, Jackson Bites, Mandate Films and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.

Meanwhile, informal talks continued between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers in hopes of setting the stage for a full resumption of contract negotiations.

The Hollywood writers began their strike on Nov. 5 primarily over payment for work distributed online and through other forms of new media.

In a sign that the union was making some concessions, WGA leaders told studio chiefs this week that they would drop proposals to unionize writers who work on animated movies and reality TV shows. That demand was one of the main reasons for the breakdown of formal talks.

(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2008)

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