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Blockbuster Films Face Delay if Actors Strike
- Leading British actors threaten to stop working over pay issues

THE NEXT James Bond instalment and Harry Potter sequel are among the films that could be put on hold if a strike by the British actors union Equity goes ahead.

A possible strike by UK actors could get underway on Tuesday if the dispute over the right to bonus payments is not resolved. Julie Walters and Ewan McGregor are among those caught up in the campaign, which could bring the UK film industry to a halt.

"I am tired of making producers and distributors rich while I and my fellow actors are exploited," said Star Wars and Moulin Rouge actor McGregor, pledging his support to the campaign in which a host of big-name actors including Ricky Tomlinson have lent their backing

Equity is pushing to renegotiate a contract with the Producers' Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT) over additional payments. At present British actors receive a flat fee in advance when their films show on TV, video or DVD.

But unlike their US counterparts they get nothing for extra screenings of their work. Equity wants financial rewards to be linked to the success of the individual films. Despite some evidence of progress, such as PACT's idea of a system of payments linked to a film's use, the union was sceptical that performers would see any money in the near future and rejected the offer.

If the union recommends its 36,000 members not to work on any new feature films then productions this autumn are likely to be stalled until the dispute is resolved.

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