IMDb just named The Hangover Part II one of the top 10 films of 2011 (a bit premature, we know), but that's not why it's making headlines today. Unfortunately, this news is bad news: Scott McLean, a stuntman for the film, is in a coma after an accident on set. While shooting a high-speed driving scene on December 17, two cars crashed into each other, sending McLean to the hospital. There's no word on the exact injuries he suffered or what happened to the other driver, but this has surely put a damper on shooting.
For The Hangover Part II, this is just another day of bad buzz -- remember when the film made headlines months ago? It was Mel Gibson vs. Zach Galifianakis after the former was cast in a cameo and the latter (along with other castmates) wanted him gone. Gibson was replaced and everyone moved on, but now there's this.
Between this accident and the Spider-Man actor's hospitalization, stuntmen are having a bad month.
The phrase "It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it" doesn't seem good enough as lives hang in the balance. The sad thing is that no matter how experienced or skilled stuntmen are, accidents happen and the job is still dangerous.
Spider-Man actor Christopher Tierney fell 30 feet in an accident that was attributed to human error. He's now out of the hospital and walking again, but it was a close call. His brother made a statement saying that, as a trained dancer, Tierney was able to land on his feet after the fall, otherwise he would not have made it.
Meanwhile, McLean has described himself as close to Australia's top 10 stunt drivers, so training and experience isn't the issue there either. Not much is known about what exactly caused the crash, but accidents like these make us wonder if stunts are going too far.
The Hangover Part II is by no means an action movie, but nowadays all sorts of movies push the boundary when it comes to special effects and stunts. This trend has caught on in television and stage, and while that means more work for stuntmen, it also means more risk and danger.
The accident on Spider-Man led to an investigation and several postponed performances, but it's not often that you hear of accidents on movie sets being investigated. Let's hope that as more of these accidents make it in the news, more safety precautions and accountability also follow.
Do you think stuntmen are in more danger now than they have been in the past?
Image via IMDb