Monday 26 August 2019

Injured Fast & Furious stuntman out of intensive care but has ‘long road ahead’

Joe Watts, a stunt double on the film, sustained a head injury last month on the set.

Fast and Furious stuntman out of intensive care but still has ‘long road ahead’ (Tilly Powell)
Fast and Furious stuntman out of intensive care but still has ‘long road ahead’ (Tilly Powell)

By Lucy Mapstone, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

The stuntman who was injured on the set of Fast & Furious 9 has thanked well-wishers for their support after being moved out of intensive care.

Joe Watts sustained a serious head injury on the film set at the Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire two-and-a-half weeks ago, and was airlifted to hospital.

Stunt performer Watts, 31, is still in hospital and “has a long road ahead” of him, but doctors have said they are pleased with his recovery so far.

While Joe remains in hospital and there is still a long road ahead, he has been moved out of the ICU and doctors are pleased with his progress

A statement from Watts, his partner Tilly Powell and their families said: “We would like to thank everyone for their kind wishes since Joe’s accident whilst filming Fast & Furious 9.

“We have been overwhelmed by the incredible support from friends, family and the stunt community, as well as the Fast & Furious 9 cast, crew and Universal Pictures.

“While Joe remains in hospital and there is still a long road ahead, he has been moved out of the ICU and doctors are pleased with his progress.”

They added: “We’d especially like to send an enormous thank you to the air ambulance crew, all the fantastic doctors, nurses and staff at the Royal London Hospital who have provided amazing care to Joe.”

Producers halted work on the latest instalment of the long-running film series following the on-set incident, as police and paramedics were called to the scene.

Joe is a professional in every sense of the word and his commitment to his craft is inspiring to all of us. We know he’ll continue to inspire us throughout his recovery Universal Pictures spokesman

Watts, who acted as a stunt double on the set of the Fast & Furious 9 but was not the double of actor Vin Diesel, has previously worked on a number of high-profile productions including Games Of Thrones, Johnny English Strikes Again, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

Most recently, Watts appeared in the Tom Holland-starring Spider Man: Far From Home.

He is also a teacher at The Creative Academy in Slough.

A Universal Pictures spokesman said: “Universal Pictures and the filmmakers, talent and crew of Fast & Furious 9 are heartened that Joe is on the road to recovery with the support of his loved ones.

“Joe is a professional in every sense of the word and his commitment to his craft is inspiring to all of us. We know he’ll continue to inspire us throughout his recovery.

“Everyone in the Fast family sends our heartfelt wishes and we will continue to support Joe and his family however we can.”

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Jason Statham paid tribute to the ‘selfless’ stunt performer at the Hobbs and Shaw premiere (Matt Crossick/PA)

Following Watts’ injury, Jason Statham – who has appeared in a number of the Fast & Furious films – told of his concern for the “selfless” stunt performer.

Statham, who currently stars in spin-off Hobbs & Shaw, said at the film’s premiere last month: “It’s a very, very concerning thing when someone gets hurt. The families have to endure that difficulty.

“It’s awful. We have to try as best we can to try and mitigate those things. It’s absolutely awful news, and we just wish him the best.

“They are really the unsung heroes. They are the ones that put themselves in harm’s way to make other people look good.”

Fast & Furious 9 stars franchise regulars Diesel, Tyrese Gibson and Michelle Rodriguez and is due for release in 2020.

PA Media

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