'John Wick' directors hopeful for a best stunt Oscar in the future

Gregory Wakeman
Do action scenes like the above deserve an Oscar? (Image by Lionsgate)

While the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences made a lot of changes to the Oscars earlier this week, the lack of recognition for stunt actors left many cinephiles frustrated. 

As two of the most renowned stunt performers and coordinators in recent history, who have since gone on to become hugely popular directors, David Leitch and Chad Stahelski are perfectly placed to know why the Academy are yet to give these individuals the respect they so clearly deserve. 

It sounds like that might change in the future, though.

During a recent interview with Collider, the pair were asked why there still isn’t a best stunt Oscar, which provoked Leitch to reveal that a “lot of great people are working on it internally” at the Academy. 

“I know that inside of the Academy there’s a group of veteran stunt performers that have slowly become members at large… and hopefully, they’re gonna have enough members at large where we can have our own division inside the Academy and then maybe we’re a step away from officially asking for our own sort of award.”

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“It just feels weird to be left out of that when we’re as important as makeup or hair or special effects or visual effects. 

Directors David Leitch (L) and Chad Stahelski pose at a special screening of their movie "John Wick" in Los Angeles, California October 22, 2014. The movie opens in the U.S. on October 24. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)

The problem for Stahelski, though, is that there are so many people that work on the stunts for Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, which makes it impossible to reward just one person for each film. 

“People don’t realise that because stunts are so big, on the big movies out there, there’s three or four — we’re a fractured department. The fight choreographer on a big fight movie doesn’t work for the stunt coordinator. He’s his own department.”

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Leitch has an answer for that, though. “If you gave it to the main unit coordinator, it was symbolic that the movie had great action. And then he or she would ultimately would have to give credit where credit is due.”

“That’s kind of how the rest of the departments do it … I think it would be a step at least if we got the department head, at least. the award.”