JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4, Keanu Reeves (left), 2023. ph: Murray Close / © Lionsgate / Courtesy Everett Collection

‘John Wick’ Director Says Best Stunt Work Oscar Will Happen, Academy Talks ‘Incredibly Positive’

The success of the ‘John Wick’ films highlighted the artistry that goes into stunts, and franchise director Chad Stahelski has become one of the strongest advocates for honoring stunts at the Oscars. The director has long expressed his desire to see a new stunt-focused category added to the Academy Awards—and now his efforts may be paying off.

In an interview with, Stahelski said he has met with decision makers at the academy and believes his vision will be realized soon.

“We’ve met with members of the Academy and we’ve actually had these conversations and to be honest, it’s been nothing but incredibly positive, incredibly informative,” Stahelski said. “I think, for the first time, we’ve made a real forward move to make that happen.”

Stahelski said the biggest hurdles are logistical ones. Stunt work is a collaborative art form, and awards could conceivably go to a variety of departments.

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“The question is, we haven’t had the real talk about determining what to reward as well,” he said. “Like, is this for the best stunt? Is it the best choreography? The best action sequence? Best stunt team? Does the stunt coordinator understand this? Does the guy who gags get that? The martial arts choreographer? The fight choreography? The stunt double? The second unit director? The publisher? Who gets the prize? All of these are big questions that only smart people on both sides of the stunt community and the Academy need to talk about.

The director ultimately reaffirmed his faith in the Oscars by adding a stunt category, saying it’s a matter of when rather than if.

“Over the past three months, we’ve been talking to members of the Academy, putting this huge machine to work to have these discussions and, again, to be open and fair on both sides,” he said. “Both sides have been incredibly positive. There’s no one we’ve met so far who thinks antagonistically about this as everyone on both sides wants this to happen. They want stunts at the Oscars. It will happen. It’s just how we do it as fairly and thoughtfully as possible.