I’ve read David Halbfinger‘s 11.23 N.Y. Times piece about how the studios are enjoying a certain advantage in casting this and that actor twice now, and I still don’t get the gist, and I don’t k now that it’s important that I do. It reviews the backstage shufflings in the wake of Brad Pitt‘s departure from State of Play and more particularly the effects of the WGA strike upon the schedules of Russell Crowe, Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp.

With WGA strike talks resuming on Monday, 11.26, the key phrase in Halbfinger’s piece is “the chance of a quick settlement.” The expectation in some quarters is that the strike will be over sooner rather than later. It’s said to be understood on both sides that the time has come for serious horse-trading and that terms will be hammered out by the end of next week if not sooner. But a deal won’t be revealed for a couple of weeks so that both sides can look tough and save face.

The expectation in one corner is that an announcement of a settlement will happen sometime around Pearl Harbor day — Friday, December 7th. Just before, on or just after.

George Hickenlooper needs to get that Woody Allen “Speechless” short shot and cut as quickly as possible.