The Fall Guy Director And Stars On The Life-Changing Power Of Stunts And A Possible Sequel [Exclusive Interview]


Hey David. How are you doing?

Good. Ryan, how are you?

Oh my God, I’m so good, man. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today.

Of course, of course. Exciting.

I was at the South By screening, and man, I’ve been to a lot over the years. People were into it. It was really fun.

It was a rowdy crowd. I loved it.

It was. So, look, you’re no stranger to big-budget franchise films at this point, but does this one feel a little bit more personal to you given that you have a background as a stuntman in this business?

Yeah, it was a lot more personal. I think there was an ability to — obviously all the anecdotes I had from 25 years-plus of being a stunt performer and living my entire adult life on movie sets, I got to sort of channel into this movie, and I think that’s why it’s a love letter, not only to stunts, but also to the crew that make the movie happen. It was fun to actually be able to talk from a point of experience to both of my leading actors. One is portraying a stuntman, and I have obviously depth and knowledge of that personal experience. Then one’s playing a director, and now I’ve been doing that for a decade, I can speak from experience as well, and so it’s really personal that way.

I don’t want to spoil anything for audiences, but there are some crazy action sequences and great stunt work in this movie. Were there any sequences or stunts that you had to abandon, either for budgetary reasons or you just couldn’t figure out a way to pull them off?

There wasn’t. The studio was really supportive that we would approach this from a very practical stunt point of view. It was our mandate, [wife/producing partner] Kelly [McCormick] and I wanted to make sure if we’re going to tell the story about a stuntman, we wanted to make sure the stunts were authentic, and so we dove into those old-school classic stunts that we had to do practically. Now that being said, our visual effects team did incredible work when it had to, but 99% of the stuff we’re doing is practical in-camera stunts that, again, we set a world record for the number of canon rolls, Logan Holladay [did]. We just delivered next-level practical action that you don’t see that much anymore.

Totally. So look, this is a franchise already. You’re obviously adapting a TV show here. I know the movie hasn’t even come out yet, but has the studio been like, “So, do you have any thoughts on doing another one here?” Or have you guys talked at all about what a follow-up would look like?

I think all of us loved the world so much and really had an incredible time making the movie. I think you can see the joy we’re having as filmmakers — Ryan, Emily, Kelly, myself — collaborating in this way that, yeah, our fingers and toes are crossed. We could spend more time in this world with Jody and Colt. That would be amazing. But I don’t want to jinx anything. I want people to come out and see it.

Totally. So they’re about to kick me out of here, but on the sequel train, I do have to ask you real quick: At this point, you’ve got a couple of things that may or may not get sequels at some point. What is more likely: “Hobbs and Shaw 2” or “Atomic Blonde 2?”

Wow. I think they both have a really good shot. And by the way, I would love to go back to both those worlds. Really fun, great characters and cool collaborations with some great actors. So probably equal, I couldn’t tell you which has a better shot. I know we’re talking about both.

“The Fall Guy” hits theaters on May 3, 2024.

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