HOLLYWOOD Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Facing Pivotal Moment in...

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Facing Pivotal Moment in Hollywood Careers


- Advertisment -

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle face a pivotal moment in their Hollywood careers as the industry-halting strike action, which prevented the development of new scripts, shows and movies, came to an end this month, an entertainment expert has told Newsweek.

Harry and Meghan entered the entertainment industry after leaving the monarchy and moving to the United States in 2020. The couple signed a multimillion-dollar content creation deal with Netflix, collaborating on scripted and non-scripted projects through their Archewell Productions company.

So far, the partnership has yielded three multi-episode docuseries, which have been met with mixed reviews from critics and audiences. However, the couple has hinted at a shift away from factual programming into non-scripted movie projects.

In October 2022, Meghan revealed in an interview she hoped to develop her presence behind the camera and said she hoped to revive the romantic comedy genre. In August 2023, it was announced that Netflix and Archewell Productions had purchased the rights to adapt the hit romance novel, Meet Me at The Lake by Carley Fortune.

So far, this adaptation is the only publicly announced project on the slate for the production company, with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes pausing any meaningful development.

With the end of the WGA strike in September and the SAG-AFTRA strike in November, Harry and Meghan can get back to work, something entertainment expert and founder of MarkMeets, Mark Boardman, told Newsweek they should do without delay.

“With the SAG-AFTRA strike at a close, it opens up the possibility that any previously paused studio deals involving Harry and Meghan, which were put on hold during the four-month strike, may now be back on the table for intense discussions ahead of their Christmas break,” he said.

“Following the improved terms for creators and actors, alongside protection from potential AI use, this now presents a promising scenario for the industry and the Sussexes. These improved terms will lead to a substantial return on successful projects for all stakeholders with higher payments for streams. However, initial fees are likely to be lower because of this higher earning potential should the show be a success.”

Boardman noted that for Harry and Meghan, the time could also signal a chance to renegotiate their financial stakes with Netflix and other project collaborators.

“For the Sussexes, this could be an opportune time to leverage the new conditions for their future projects, particularly in the production of scripted content for streaming platforms like Netflix,” he said.

“It is expected that the couple’s focus will once again shift focus towards their business following a period devoid of income, having enjoyed much family time, from vacations to attending events and engaging with the entertainment world.

“This is a positive phase for them, as their charity work becomes increasingly public, despite earlier setbacks, such as King Charles’ distancing and satirical portrayals in media, having been raised in a recent episode of Family Guy.

“Given the circumstances, it is advisable for Harry and Meghan to advance their plans with determination and minimize distractions to achieve success in their Hollywood venture,” he said.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in London on June 3, 2022. And (inset) the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles on November 10, 2023. The royals began careers in the entertainment industry after splitting from the monarchy in 2020.
Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images/AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Though things may be looking up for the couple in terms of future movie and TV projects, Harry sustained a blow from his Hollywood peers this month as it was revealed he missed out on a coveted Grammy nomination for his self-narrated audiobook version of his memoir, Spare.

Harry’s audiobook met the requirements for consideration in the 2024 awards category of “Best Audio Book, Narration and Storytelling Recording” but was not included in the list of nominees selected by Grammy voters.

Those whose projects were nominated included Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders, Meryl Streep and William Shatner.

Newsweek reached out to representatives of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Archewell Productions via email for comment.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek‘s royal reporter, based in London. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email royals@newsweek.com. We’d love to hear from you.