Fast & Furious 9 Filmmakers Fined $1million After Stuntman’s Accident – Upnewsdaily

Fast & Furious 9 Filmmakers Fined $1million After Stuntman’s Accident – Upnewsdaily

Fast & Furious filmmakers have been fined £800,000 ($1million) after one of their stuntmen suffered brain damage after a fall during production.

Stuntman Joe Watts suffered a broken skull after falling eight metres onto concrete and landing on his head, in an accident during the filming of Fast & Furious 9: The Fast Saga at Warner Bros’ studios in Hertfordshire, UK, in July 2019.

The BBC reports that a judge considered Watts “lucky to be alive,” after hearing that his safety line became detached during a stunt that was rehearsed but changed during filming. The court heard that the safety line was not checked between takes. District Judge Talwinder Buttar, sitting at Luton Magistrates Court, criticised the decision to alter the stunt “at the last minute”, adding that the matting underneath should also have been adjusted.

The prosecution was brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which called Watts’ injuries “life-changing,” adding: “In stunt work, it is not about preventing a fall but minimising the risk of an injury.”

FF9 Pictures admitted health and safety failings in court Friday, and accepted the fine.

Prior to his accident, the BBC reports that Watts had worked on many high-profile productions, including Game of Thrones, Johnny English Strikes Again, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

Fast & Furious 9 – starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell and Charlize Theron – was made on a production budget of $200-$225million. On its release in 2021, it made $726.5m at the global box office.

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