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Universal is hoping the potential SAG-AFTRA strike won’t interfere with the London premiere of “Oppenheimer” on Thursday evening. Variety has learned that the studio is moving up the red carpet event by an hour, from 5:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. local time, with the hope that this extra hour will allow the cast, which includes stars like Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, and Florence Pugh, to pose for photos and participate in interviews without violating SAG-AFTRA strike rules.

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While the negotiations deadline is midnight on Wednesday, the SAG-AFTRA board would still need to convene on Thursday to vote and confirm the decision to strike. Universal executives believe that such a vote may not occur before the premiere takes place. However, this is a risky assumption, as the strike decision could be announced while the red carpet event is still ongoing.

On Wednesday, a federal mediator was present during negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. If no agreement is reached, the SAG-AFTRA board is expected to hold a meeting on Thursday to approve a walkout involving its 160,000 performer members. SAG-AFTRA members would then join the Writers Guild of America on picket lines outside major studios and streamers.

On June 30, SAG-AFTRA agreed to a 12-day extension for contract negotiations, but they have consistently stated that they would not agree to another extension. The director of “Oppenheimer,” Christopher Nolan, and the cast celebrated the world premiere of the film in Paris on July 10. Universal has also requested that the talent conduct interviews and promotional activities earlier than planned to ensure they are completed before the potential strike. The studio is also planning a “Oppenheimer” premiere in New York City on July 17.

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