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When Fast & Furious makers has to pay over Rs 8.5 crore in fine after a stuntman suffered brain damage on sets of F9 - Did you know?

The stunts in F9: The Fast Saga were crazy and even the fans agreed, but that came at a very high cost for the makers due to one negligence. 

When Fast & Furious makers has to pay over Rs 8.5 crore in fine after a stuntman suffered brain damage on sets of F9 - Did you know?

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Last Updated: 08.05 PM, Jul 08, 2024

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The world of Fast & Furious is all about the adrenaline kick that one gets from watching cars fly, people performing the most dangerous gravity-defying stunts, and, well, facing death-defying situations. But what goes into making these dangerous movies is a collaborative effort that, even with the most precise choreography and strong security measures, involves putting lives at risk to create a film that the audience will ultimately judge. Unfortunately, this also means there are chances of lethal injuries, as happened on the set of F9 in 2019. A stuntman on the set of the action drama led by Vin Diesel was left injured and suffered brain damage when a stunt went wrong. The story didn’t end there; the makers were dragged to court and ordered to pay a hefty fine.

The fatal Accident On F9 Sets

Yes, you read that right. This happened back in 2019 when Joe Watts, a stuntman on the set of F9: The Fast Saga, the ninth film in the Fast & Furious franchise, was performing a stunt in July at Warner Brothers’ studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, when the accident occurred. He fell from a height of 25 feet and suffered brain damage. He was shooting on a balcony when Watts was plunged headfirst onto the concrete floor as he was thrown over the shoulder of another stunt person. This led to his skull breaking and suffering multiple severe injuries.

F9 still
F9 still

FF9 Pictures, a subsidiary of Universal Pictures, the company that backs the Fast & Furious franchise, was ordered to pay £800,000 after they admitted to health and safety failings at the Luton Magistrates' Court. The court was told that Joe Watts was thrown over the right shoulder of the performer during the rehearsals, but during the take, it was changed to the left. The safety line that was operating correctly during the initial take detached from his vest in the next take, and he fell, missing the crash mats. The wires were not allegedly checked between the takes.

Sentencing, District Judge Talwinder Buttar, who presided over the case, criticized the makers’ decision to change the stunt at the last minute and not even adjust the mats despite the change in the routine. She said Joe Watts is fortunate to be alive.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said that the makers of F9 “had no system for double-checking that the link had been properly engaged and tightened. They did not extend the crash matting needed to mitigate the consequences of an unintended fall following changes to the set and the sequence of the stunt." The makers had to apologize and also pay the fine.

Fast & Furious is streaming on Zee5 on rent, and you can also watch it with your OTTplay Premium subscription. Stay tuned to OTTplay for more information on this and everything else from the world of streaming and films.

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