In a recently published interview with Discussing Film, Chad Stahelski–director of the John Wick films–added his voice to those who demand the Academy Awards add a category for stunt work.
“If wardrobe, hair, and makeup, certainly all the creative departments here are considered for Oscars, then yes, it makes perfect sense that the stunt department would be considered for an Oscar,” Stahelski said in the interview, which also touched on productivity during the shut down and whether he wants to work on more superhero films.
The award issue is important to Stahelski, not only due to the impressive stunt feats of his John Wick films, but likely because stunt work was how Stahelski established himself in the film industry and subsequently moved into directing. He was Keanu Reeves’ stunt double in the Matrix films and later coordinated stunts for the Matrix franchise before co-directing the first John Wick movie with fellow stunt coordinator David Leitch.
Stahelski also designed action sequences for DC’s Birds of Prey, so if the Academy Awards announced a change soon, it would potentially put him up as a contender.
Stunt coordinators have long called for a stunt work Oscar category. In 2016, 100 stunt performers demonstrated in front of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ offices in Beverly Hills and collected a petition with more than 50,000 signatures. At the time, the number of stunt performers active in the industry fell beneath 100 members, and the Academy said that was a prerequisite for consideration.