John Wick: Chapter 4 Director Advocates For Best Stunt Category at Oscars

The 95th Annual Academy Awards took place earlier this month, and many of 2022's biggest movies took home some exciting prizes. Throughout the awards' many years, there have been some categories added while others have been removed. One of the more recent big additions was the Best Animated Feature category, which the Academy added in 2001. They also attempted to include an award for Outstanding Popular Film in 2018, but there was too much backlash and they didn't follow through with the category. For many years, folks in Hollywood have advocated for another new category: Best Stunts. The stunt people work very hard, and there have been many films that have deserved recognization from the Academy. Chad Stahelski, the stuntman who went on to direct all four John Wick films, recently had a chat with Deadline about John Wick: Chapter 4 and opened up about why the Academy should include a stunts category. 

"Well, let me dissect that a little bit, when you say 'reconsider,'" Stahelski began when asked about the Academy. "What makes you think they've ever really considered it? Have you ever talked to anyone in the Academy about it or talked to anyone in the stunt world who has talked to the Academy about this?" He continued, "So you see the fundamental problem here. I think if I went to the Academy right now and asked, 'Are there any of you who think stunts shouldn't be in the Oscars?' Could you find a single person? I don't think so. So OK, what seems to be the problem here? The problem is no one's having the conversation." 

When asked if he's talked to the Academy, Stahelski replied, "I'm raising it right now with you, and you're gonna help me raise the question back to them. There's not a single arguable reason not to have stunts in the Academy Awards. No one's gonna deny that we are at least equal to every other department. We're part of every film, as much part of Hollywood lore as music, costumes, technical achievements, directing, or cinematography. And none of the people in those departments will deny that. I just think we haven't had the talk. I think there's some challenges in it. The stunt department works very differently. Cinematographer is one person, same with costume designer and director. Stunts?"

Stahelski continued by talking about his stunt team, "I have Scott Rogers, he's my supervising stunt coordinator, but he deals with the cars and the rigging and the safety. I have Jeremy Arenas, a choreographer that puts all these great moves together. I have three other riggers and three other choreographers and two assistant stunt coordinators. And I myself coordinate half and my editors put it all together. Say we win the Oscar for Best Stunt. Which of the nine people who should get it? And what are you given the Oscar for? There is the great staircase fall for John Wick, and a couple great car hits. There's a great high fall out the window. But the effect of John Wick is the overall action of the movie. So are you giving the award for Best Stunt or Best Stunt Sequence, or Best Stunt Constant? The stunt guys don't know the answer. And I guarantee you the Academy doesn't either. But I have faith that if all the smart people at the Academy and all our smart people sit down at a table, we can figure it out and make it happen. So I'm asking you to throw down the gauntlet to help make it happen. I am happy to be a representative for the stunt community among other great people in it, to sit down with the academy and go, okay, we're all on the same page. How do we do this? Let's figure it out together." 

Would you like to see the Academy recognize stunts? Tell us in the comments! 

John Wick: Chapter 4 is now playing in theaters.