John Wick Director Chad Stahelski Weighs in on The Rust Shooting Incident
John Wick director Chad Stahelski used to be a stunt double for Keanu Reeves in The Matrix franchise, and this paved the way for Stahelski to become a stunt coordinator for several films. As someone who used to be a stunt coordinator on set, Stahelski has had his fair share of accidents on set. The director weighs in on the Rust shooting incident that took place last Oct 2021.
Stahelski shares his thoughts on the Rust shooting incident, he details how the use of guns on set has evolved, he told THR,
“What happened on Rust … I wasn’t there, but the accidents that I’ve been around, seen or been part of have always been human error. It’s never mechanical. So, let’s just talk about firearms. Back in the day, when it all started, they came up with blanks. A blank is a bullet without the projectile, but they couldn’t put you and me in the same shot, 5 feet apart, and one of us pull the trigger. The concussive force coming out at the end of the barrel would be enough to shatter your skull. Accidents like that did happen and people died because of it. But in the past 10 years, they’ve come out with electronic guns, plug guns where it is impossible for anything to come out of the barrel and total CG. That’s the way we do it. That technology is out there for everybody.”
Despite the safer use of electronic guns, numerous productions still use real firearms these days. Stahelski bravely stated the real reason why the safer and completely harmless type of guns weren’t widely used in most productions:
“My feeling is that there’s no reason to have a live firearm on set. We can create cities and spaceships and Godzilla and all these things. We have the technology to do the same with firearms. But, for the last 100 years, Hollywood’s been using real firearms. And for prop houses, armorers or supply houses to switch over, it would make their entire stock of real firearms useless. It comes down to the fact that it would cost certain people a great deal of money to switch over. No one wants to say that, but that’s the real reason. You don’t need firearms. The alternative is just going to cost you more money.”
On a lighter note, with all the dangerous acts the stunt community experiences on set, Stahelski thinks that it’s time for Oscars to recognize their hard work. With decades of experience in the stunt department, Stahelski also shares his thoughts on the stunt department getting an Oscar category.
“There’s one for every other department but ours? That’s a no-brainer to me. Truly, there are wives’ tales and rumors and myths about why there’s no category, that the Academy was mad at somebody about something. For all I know, that’s all bullshit. We want to be recognized because we’re one of the 11 main departments. We’re in every fucking trailer. Most movies are sold on what we do.”
John Wick: Chapter 4 is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on March 24.