Stunts finally being considered as an Oscars category

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Oscar high-ups have revealed that early talks are underway to introduce some long overdue recognition for the stunt performer community.

They were one of the cornerstone elements of movies in the silent era, helping to establish cinema as an art form. Not only have they graced some of the greatest films ever made, but they are integral to some of the most magical moments in the history of cinema. We’re talking of course about stunts.

For far too long, the incredible (and dangerous) work that stunt performers do hasn’t been recognised by the Oscars, the world’s most high-profile awards show. As such, other major shows in the awards circuit (for the most part) have also neglected to add stunt sequences as a category, meaning that the stunt performer community have to honour their own community at bespoke award events like the Taurus World Stunt Awards.

Given how integral stunts continue to be to Hollywood’s successes in this age of blockbuster-dominated filmmaking, the continued reluctance to recognise the stunt community has been baffling. Back in February when the Academy announced that casting would be a new category in the Oscars from 2026 onwards, the news was welcomed but there were lots of onlookers (including us) who questioned why the stunt community were being overlooked yet again.

With the recent release of The Fall Guy, the life of the humble stunt performer has been thrown into sharper relief and the film’s star, Ryan Gosling, has dubbed the movie as “a love letter to the stunt community”. The actor also added that “they are the hardest working people in show business”.

Whether the release of The Fall Guy has spurred a few conversations we may never know but given that several former stunt co-ordinators – such as that film’s director David Leitch, and John Wick's Chad Stahelski – have now climbed their way to the top of the Hollywood powerbroker mountain, perhaps there are now enough powerful voices in the right positions to enact change.

Speaking to Empire at Cannes, the Academy’s CEO Bill Kramer has acknowledged that adding stunts in some capacity to the Oscars is in the early stages of happening. Kramer revealed that, “we’re talking to members of the stunt community who are Academy members about the possibility of that. We added a new award that will launch in two years for Casting Directors, so we’re always open to those discussions.”

Good news then, and long past time. It’ll likely be a couple of years before this happens but it looks like the hard-working, talented and brave people who work in the stunts industry may finally be getting their due.

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