Dakota Johnson Indie Film ‘Daddio’ Cleared for SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement

The taxi cab drama, which also stars Sean Penn, will have its cast available to appear at its upcoming TIFF screening

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“Daddio,” the new drama from writer-director Christy Hall starring Dakota Johnson and Sean Penn, has been approved for SAG-AFTRA’s interim agreement and will be cleared to have its cast promote it at this fall’s film festivals, including the Toronto International Film Festival.

“Daddio” stars Penn as a New York taxi driver who engages in a conversation with a woman who just landed at JFK (Johnson) about the relationships in their lives. Last week, the film was added to TIFF’s Special Presentation section.

The film joins a growing list of fall festival films that do not have a major Hollywood studio attached as producer or distributor that have been cleared through SAG-AFTRA’s interim agreement process to have actors promote the film. Last week, Michael Mann’s biopic “Ferrari,” which will be released in theaters by Neon, was cleared to have its cast led by Adam Driver appear at the film’s Venice premiere.

But in both the case of “Ferrari” and “Daddio,” it is not clear yet whether those films’ actors will appear after receiving this clearance. While most projects that have received interim agreement approval have moved forward with production schedules and publicity plans, one notable exception is the MRC-produced thriller “G20,” whose star and producer Viola Davis said last month that she did “not feel that it would be appropriate for this production to move forward during the strike.”

In a statement, SAG-AFTRA says that supporting interim agreement-approved productions “shows strong solidarity with striking members and support for the union.”

“We urge our members to audition for projects approved under the Interim Agreement. If they appear in an approved production, they should be comfortable celebrating and fully promoting it,” the guild’s national executive director and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said. “SAG-AFTRA believes these agreements are an important opportunity to improve the union’s bargaining position, while giving room for journeyman actors and crew to work during the strike.”

On Tuesday, Crabtree-Ireland told reporters that any film approved for the guild’s interim agreement must adhere to all of the terms proposed to the AMPTP prior to the start of the strike, including a streaming revenue sharing model rejected by the major studios.

This would mean that any film like “Daddio” that does not currently have a theatrical or streaming distributor must include those streaming revenue sharing terms in any acquisition deal made at a film festival or elsewhere.

“The likelihood that an AMPTP studio is going to platform content that they are then going to have to pay streaming revenue share on during the course of the strike is, in my view, minimal or nonexistent,” Crabtree-Ireland said.

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