The profession of a stuntman appears to be exciting – if the release of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is anything to go by Brad Pitt’s Cliff Booth is the glamorous illusion – but while staged action shots and high flying tricks look impressive, the reality is quite literally death-defying. In late July, on the set of the ninth instalment of the Fast & Furious franchise stuntman Joe Watts suffered a serious head injury in the United Kingdom.
— Justin Lin (@justinlin) June 25, 2019
“We had an injury on the set of ‘FAST 9’ today in Leavesden with one of our stuntmen,” a Universal spokesperson confirmed to Variety at the time of the accident. “We have halted production for the day to focus on this situation.”
While the ordeal had Watts airlifted and placed in the Intensive Care Unit, he has since been moved. Overnight, it was announced watts was moved out of ICU and “the doctors are pleased with his progress.”
“While Joe remains in hospital and there is still a long road ahead, he has been moved out of the ICU and doctors are pleased with his progress,” statement from the family said. “We’d especially like to send an enormous thank-you to the air ambulance crew, all the fantastic doctors, nurses and staff at the Royal London Hospital who have provided amazing care to Joe.”
A spokesman for Universal Pictures said in a statement that the studio, “the filmmakers, talent and crew of ‘Fast & Furious 9’ are heartened that Joe is on the road to recovery with the support of his loved ones. Joe is a professional in every sense of the word and his commitment to his craft is inspiring to all of us. We know he’ll continue to inspire us throughout his recovery. Everyone in the ‘Fast’ family sends our heartfelt wishes and we will continue to support Joe and his family however we can.”
Following the near-death incident, the UK Health and Safety Executive is investigating what caused the accident.
On-set injuries can be a common occurrence. In May, Daniel Craig required minor surgery and rehabilitation after he sustained an ankle injury after he slipped on a dock.