Hollywood A-Listers Flog Signatures Amid Film Strike
Cillian Murphy, Ewan McGregor, and More Offer Exclusive Autograph Opportunities at New York Comic-Con
In the midst of a film strike that is crippling the industry, Hollywood’s A-listers are finding creative ways to supplement their income. Stars such as Cillian Murphy, Ewan McGregor, and Matt Smith are set to charge fans a hefty fee for their autographs at this month’s New York Comic-Con. However, due to union regulations, these actors must be careful not to sign anything related to their characters in films affected by the strike.
Ewan McGregor, known for his roles in films like Trainspotting and Star Wars, is charging £201 (approximately $275) per autograph. Cillian Murphy, famous for his work in Peaky Blinders and Oppenheimer, is asking for £161 (about $221) per signature. Fans of Doctor Who will have the chance to get Matt Smith’s autograph for £113 (around $155). Taika Waititi, husband of Rita Ora and director of Jojo Rabbit, will also be signing autographs for £141 (roughly $193). Meanwhile, Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett recently completed a special signing event through the mail for her fans.
The autograph opportunities are being organized by the SWAU company, which is preparing to ship the signed posters and photos to fans who have requested them. Their advertisement for Ewan McGregor’s appearance at New York Comic-Con reads, SWAU is proud to offer an exclusive autograph signing and appearance opportunity with Ewan McGregor at New York Comic-Con presented by ReedPop! Pre-order your officially licensed collectible or send in your own item!
It’s no secret that the ongoing strike has taken a toll on the film industry, impacting various aspects of production. Actors and writers are protesting issues such as the use of artificial intelligence by studios and the structure of royalties for streamed content. As a result, their union, SAG-AFTRA, has imposed strict rules on its 160,000 members participating in the strike. While they are barred from certain forms of work, including acting and performing stunts, these restrictions do not apply to fan events like Comic-Cons, where actors can sign autographs.
According to a source, the participating stars are feeling the financial strain caused by the strike. They have numerous expenses to cover, including security, property maintenance, legal fees, publicity costs, and agent fees. Charging fans hundreds of pounds for autographs helps alleviate some of the financial pressure. The source explained, Everyone still has bills to pay, and their money can go quicker than anyone’s when they have such big teams and no big paydays on the horizon.
In addition to the autograph signings at New York Comic-Con, several other websites have popped up during the strike, offering fans the chance to purchase autographs from celebrities like Michelle Pfeiffer. The terms of these deals and the amount actors receive from them are unclear.
As the strike continues, it remains to be seen how the film industry will be affected in the long run. In the meantime, fans attending New York Comic-Con will have the unique opportunity to meet their favorite A-listers and obtain their coveted autographs, albeit for a steep price.