Universal Pictures has acquired the film rights to Kung Fu, the 1970s TV series starring David Carradine, and the studio has hired David Leitch to direct a contemporary Kung Fu movie. Leitch, who has previously directed films like Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, and Hobbs and Shaw, seems like an obvious choice to infuse this story with the kind of frenetic, action-packed choreography we’ve seen across his filmography.
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Chances are, you’ve all been watching and appreciating Chris O’Hara‘s work for a long time without even realizing it. He’s been in the stunt world going back to the early ’90s and worked on Fight Club with frequent collaborator, stunt performer-turned-Hobbs & Shaw director David Leitch. Since then, the stunt performer-turned-stunt coordinator has worked with the Wachowskis, he contributed to the John Wick films and, undoubtedly the most dangerous stunt job of them all, We Bought A Zoo. He’s brought his expertise to huge franchises, including Jurassic World and The Hunger Games. During a press day for the Blu-Ray release of Hobbs & Shaw, we got a chance to talk to him about his latest work.
After speaking with O’Hara, I actually got to recreate a stunt from the movie with the help of a few very cool stuntmen. Just as you might exactly imagine, I made Dwayne Johnson’s skills pale in comparison. “It’s like a dance,” the stuntmen would say, breaking down the specific steps required to properly kick someone in the groin. (Keep your foot flat facing downward, if you’re interested.) Experiencing the specificity of the subtlest of moves, really, made the fight scenes in Hobbs & Shaw all the more impressive and artful. It truly is like a dance — except with more liability and danger. Go too far with an elbow hit and, well, it’s not pretty. Imagine an elbow landing on a temple and try not to cringe. Even seemingly minor moves are ripe with danger. Another observation from working with these stuntmen: as shown by the Academy Awards, they just don’t get enough of the love or acclaim they deserve. One of them even remarked it was nice to see excitement and appreciation over what they do for a living.
Below, you can find a few nuggets of information we learned from speaking with O’Hara about his take on the next-level fights in the John Wick franchise, finding stuntmen to fight alongside Dwayne Johnson, and the athleticism of Jason Statham.
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Don’t say the word “grounded” to director David Leitch. The filmmaker behind Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, and most recently, Hobbs & Shaw, wants his big blockbusters to live in a fantasy land far, far away from gritty reality. He wants his escapism to look cool and stylish, not familiar. It’s probably why his sensibilities were suited for the Fast & Furious franchise, which are basically superhero movies with cars instead of capes.
Hobbs & Shaw is probably the most fantastical entry in the series, with minor elements of science-fiction and superhuman acts performed by the titular duo. Realism has no place in this franchise, which allowed Leitch to have as much fun as possible with all the franchise’s toys and staples. While staying true to the family spirit and ridiculousness of the franchise, Leitch also brought his eye-popping graphic novel style to the Fast & Furious franchise.
Recently, at a press day for the Hobbs & Shaw Blu-Ray release, the filmmaker told us about bringing his style to the series, his fondness of John Woo and Jackie Chan, and his distaste of the word “grounded.”
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The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, watch as director David Leitch breaks down one of the opening sequences from Fast and Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw. Plus, check out the Anthony & Joe Russo‘s entire San Diego Comic-Con panel, complete with questions from Avengers: Endgame cast members, and follow along as Kevin Bacon breaks down the most memorable characters from his career. Read More »
The days of boosting cars and racing for pinks is long gone in the Fast & Furious world. The earliest installments in the series continue to look comically quaint in comparison to the likes of Hobbs & Shaw, although the mega movie does tip its hat to the old days of the franchise once or twice. In addition to all the globe-trotting and saving the world business expected from Fast brand, Hobbs & Shaw now brings a touch of sci-fi to the franchise. And director David Leitch seems to be having a blast with it.
The spinoff still has the tone, sensibility, and taste for the ridiculousness of a Fast & Furious movie, but more than anything else, it plays like a comic book movie. The co-founder of 87Eleven and filmmaker behind Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2 could’ve put superhero costumes on Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in this movie, and they wouldn’t have looked out of place. Leitch, as he told us, had comic book movies on his mind when making his XXX-L summer movie.
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Atomic Blonde is a cool slice of art-house action. The movie could forever stand alone as one very stylish piece of entertainment, but who in their right mind wouldn’t want to see Lorraine Broughton kick more ass? She’s such a thrilling anti-hero to watch, both when she is and isn’t cracking skulls. Charlize Theron is dynamite as the hard-hitting spy, but it’s still not guaranteed she’ll play Broughton again.
The good news: according to the Atomic Blonde and Hobbs & Shaw director, David Leitch, there is still talk of a sequel, which has caught the attention of a streaming service.
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Video game movies haven’t had much luck on the big screen – so maybe Netflix is the solution. At least that’s what Ubisoft is hoping, as The Division movie, based on the Tom Clancy online video game, heads to the streaming service. Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain have been attached to the project for a while now, and will remain the stars for the Netflix film. Deadpool 2‘s David Leitch is set to direct.
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Are your engines revved for the first Fast & Furious spin-off? A new trailer for Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw is here to get your motor running, and yes, it looks just as ridiculous as ever. I can’t wait for this silly, silly movie to come out. Get a load of this new trailer below. Read More »
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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been a part of some intense productions over the course of his career, but according to him, the upcoming Fast and Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw is “easily the most challenging film” that he’s ever produced and starred in.
Take a look at a new Hobbs & Shaw wrap photo and a video from Johnson’s Instagram below, and join us as we compare what we know about this movie to the other films Johnson has produced and starred in. Read More »
A traditional Fast and Furious saga movie won’t be released in 2019, but fans will still be treated to some tire squealing and bicep-flexing in Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw, Universal’s first ever spin-off of the hugely successful franchise. After going head to head in 2015’s Furious 7 and fighting their way through a massive jail brawl in 2017’s The Fate of the Furious, Dwayne Johnson‘s Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham‘s Deckard Shaw reunite to face off against Idris Elba in this action-packed movie. Check out the first trailer below.
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