Updated: May 2: “You” star Victoria Pedretti has exited the lead role of Hulu’s “Saint X,” currently mid-production in the Dominican Republic, over creative differences. She will be replaced by “Fear the Walking Dead” star Alycia Debnam-Carey. Deadline reports that Pedretti exited before the current shutdown, which followed a crew walk-off last Friday.
Pedretti, Deadline reports
Earlier, May 1: Hulu is likely hoping that Dee Rees’ “Saint X” miniseries will be its next hit adaptation of a buzzy novel, but the show’s production is off to a rough start.
Deadline has reported that the series was forced to shut production down last week after several crew members walked off set in the Dominican Republic last Friday due to a pay dispute.
The report indicates that several members of the show’s American crew felt their contracts were being violated due to a disagreement about overtime compensation. Crew members were being paid 1.5 times their hourly rate for each hour after the standard 12-hour day was completed, and they reportedly believe that their contracts entitled them to more. After several 14-hour days at that rate, they threatened to walk off set after 12 hours were completed, and did so on Friday.
The crew members in question were the entire first unit grip and electric teams, and while the show tried to continue filming after they walked off, it was impossible to do so without lights. The set has been dark since then, as Saturday and Sunday were both scheduled days off. Everyone who walked off was a member of the American crew, but the show also has 600 local crew members who reportedly considered walking off in solidarity.
Disney Television Studios, which produces the show, confirmed the walk-off to Deadline and said the plan is to replace the crew members with American union workers. The show is reportedly hoping to resume production this week.
Representatives at Disney Television confirmed the Deadline report to IndieWire.
Alexis Schaitkin’s novel “Saint X” was released in 2020 to critical acclaim. The book tells the story of a woman who begins to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of her sister, who died decades earlier. Hulu’s adaptation was announced in January 2022 and was billed as a psychological thriller that combines multiple timelines to explore the many ways that trauma can impact a human life.
Oscar nominee Dee Rees (“Mudbound,” “Pariah”) quickly signed on to direct and executive produce the entire eight-episode series, and Victoria Pedretti signed on to play the lead role. Josh Bonzie, Jayden Elijah, and West Duchovny round out the cast of the limited series, which was written by Leila Gerstein.