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Are the Stunts in The Fall Guy Real? Director David Leitch Teases "Insane" Practical Effects

If you're going to make a movie about a stuntman, the action better be real.

By Josh Weiss
Trailer: The Fall Guy

If you're going to make a movie about the life and times of a Hollywood stuntman, then the action better be as real as you can make it. That might seem like a daunting task for a novice filmmaker, but not for stuntman turned director David Leitch, who jumped at the opportunity to pay tribute to his career origins with The Fall Guy (hitting the big screen in early May 2024).

Are the stunts in The Fall Guy real?

Yes! Despite the fact that CG could be used to create some of these more ambitious and dangerous moments, the filmmakers tease they used practical stunts and effects to create some of those seemingly unbelievable set pieces.

"We said, 'If we're going to lock down the Harbour Bridge, we better do something amazing,'" Leitch recently told Entertainment Weekly, referring to the famous landmark in Sydney, Australia. In the trailer, we get a peek of Gosling's character "surfing" down the highway. "So you'll see in that sequence: We were actually dragging Ryan Gosling behind a garbage truck doing 40 miles an hour."

The Fall Guy Ryan Gosling Stunt

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And while Mr. Gosling couldn't take part in every death-defying feat, his doubles were more than up to the task in a time when the entertainment industry prefers to use CGI instead of practical effects. In fact, Leitch and his wife, Kelly McCormick, pretty much founded the 87North Productions banner as a direct response to Hollywood's over-reliance on digital wizardry — at least where action is concerned — cranking out bone-cracking titles like Nobody, Bullet Train, and Violent NightThe Fall Guy looks to be no exception.

"You're actually able to allow these stunt performers to do these dream, career-making stunts, which sometimes you don't get to do anymore when you're making a film," McCormick explained. "It takes too long, or there's too many risks, or you can replace it with CG. But this was such an awesome experience to get to do these things practically and make some stunt people's dreams come true. There's a cannon roll. The high fall is insane. There's a car jump across a giant crevasse that is just a once-in-a-lifetime stunt."

What is The Fall Guy about?

An adaptation of the '80s-era television series of the same name (fun fact: it was created by the late Battlestar Galactica mastermind, Glen A. Larson), the upcoming blockbuster centers around Colt Seavers (Gosling), a retired stuntman who agrees to track down missing action super-star Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) in order to save a multi-million tentpole helmed by his ex-girlfriend, Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt).

Per Leitch, Gosling saw the project as a culmination of all the cinematic genres he's explored over the years. "He was like, 'Look, I've been working on films my entire life. I've gotten really good at the romance film, I've gotten to experiment with comedy with The Nice Guys, and I've recently done a big action movie called The Gray ManI feel like I'm ready to make a movie like this, where I get to use all of the tools in my toolbox.'"

The cast also features the talents of Winston Duke (the stunt coordinator on Jody's new movie), Hannah Waddingham (the movie's ruthless producer), and Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu (Tom Ryder's personal assistant).

When does The Fall Guy come out?

Written by Hobbs & Shaw scribe Drew Pearce, The Fall Guy opens in theaters everywhere on May 3, 2024.