Tom Hanks to SAG-AMPTP Rescue?

A-list stars said to be stepping in to help the Guild resolve its differences with the studios.

Last Updated: March 12, 2009 @ 8:10 AM

The big guns are riding in on that white horse again.

Having campaigned to forestall the Screen Actors Guild strike-authorization vote on Jan. 2, Tom Hanks and other top stars are now stepping in again in an attempt to break the stalemate between the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers and the Guild.

Leaders of the guild have been holding informal talks since late last week with studio executives in an attempt to reopen contract negotiations, said the Los Angeles Times.

And there does seem to be some movement. News Corp. President Peter Chernin and Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger,  who helped in negotiations between directors and writers last year, are looking for ways to solve the dispute, the Times said.

"The CEOs are actively talking among themselves about a search for a possible solution," one person familiar with the talks told the paper.

The final sticking point remains timing. The Guild is demanding a new two-year contract whose expiration date would coincide with their DGA, WGA and AFTRA contracts, giving them more leverage. The studios, fearing more disruption when the new contract is over, insist on a three-year term.