The cream of British acting talent has threatened to bring the film industry to a standstill in a row over pay.
John Thaw, Alan Rickman, Julie Walters and Oscar-winner Vanessa Red-grave head a list of more than 200 stars who say they are prepared to strike.
They want British actors to be given a share of the proceeds whenever a film they appear in is shown on television or sold on video - as already happens in the United States.
Rickman - who starred in the blockbusters Die Hard and Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves - said it was a ‘disgrace’ that actors were paid a flat fee whenever a film transferred to TV, video or DVD.
In the US, actors can find themselves tens of thousands of pounds better off if a film is a success, because they receive a share of the sales.
British actors have not received a penny, other than their original flat fee.
Rickman compared film producers to large drugs companies who refused to pass on profits to help Aids charities. ‘Something has to be done about it. It’s an absolute disgrace,’ he said.
Other stars backing the threat include Greta Scacchi, Charles Dance, Diana Rigg, David Suchet, Richard Wilson, Robbie Coltrane and Kathy Burke.
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