Having previously expressed his hopes for such a category to be created, John Wick director Chad Stahelski gives a promising update on the potential Best Stunts Oscar. Prior to making his directorial debut with the Keanu Reeves-led franchise, Stahelski was a celebrated stuntman, stunt coordinator and second unit director, having first worked with Reeves on The Matrix trilogy of movies. He’s gone on to lend his talents to a wide range of projects and filmmakers throughout the years, including Zack Snyder’s 300, Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables and John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars and Escape from L.A.
During a recent exclusive interview with Screen Rant for John Wick: Chapter 4’s Oscars chances, Stahelski reflected on the action genre’s struggles to be recognized at the awards ceremony. In addition to humorously recalling how acclaimed action movies like Bullitt are only saddled with Best Sound and Best Editing nods, the director shared some insight for the development of a potential Best Stunt Oscar, feeling it’s “within two years” and why it has yet to happen. See what Stahelski explained below:
Stahelski has previously shared his hopes for a Best Stunt Oscar to be created, feeling that those in the stunt team of a movie were part of “a legitimate full-blown department” that deserved to be “acknowledged or considered.” The John Wick franchise itself has largely put the idea of practical action movies back in the forefront of audiences’ desires, with original co-director David Leitch not only going on to helm a number of his own movies utilizing a similar filmmaking approach, including 2022’s Bullet Train, but also producing multiple via the successor to his and Stahelski’s production company, 87North Productions.
Additionally, with such groups as YouTube’s Corridor Crew becoming popular for their detailed breakdowns of some of the most iconic stunts across movies and television with some of the performers and coordinators behind them, it seems all the more disheartening that a Best Stunt Oscar has yet to be instituted. To Stahelski’s point above, the “how’s” holding the Academy back seem likely to be determining who to actually offer the award to. Much like Best Original Score or Best Original Song, a Best Stunt award could immediately go to the Coordinator behind it.
However, should the Academy look to award individual stunts rather than a movie as a whole, projects like John Wick: Chapter 4 with large stunt teams could find themselves landing multiple nominations within the same category, and have multiple performers up for awards. While some could argue this would be playing to public interest in the same vein as the Oscars Fan Favorite award, others are sure to take its potential addition as properly acknowledging the hard work of said teams much in the same vein as the horror genre’s better representation in recent years.