‘Wonder Woman 1984’ wins Best Stunt Ensemble at 2021 SAG Awards
The stunt performers in Wonder Woman 1984 have taken home the Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture at the SAG Awards. The award was presented during the Screen Actors Guild Awards pre-show.
The nominees in this particular category make up a very diverse group that includes a courtroom drama, a western, a live-action Disney movie, a war drama and even a superhero film. As well, it’s the first time since the category was created in 2008 that two female-led films are nominated in the same year.
Unlike other television and film award shows, the Screen Actors Guild Awards’ nominees and winners are voted on entirely by their peers. Approximately 160,000 members of the SAG-AFTRA union take part in the voting process each year. This group is made of numerous individuals within the entertainment industry including actors, announcers, dancers and recording artists among others.
This year, SAG-AFTRA has recognized the stunt ensemble of Wonder Woman 1984 for their impressive work on set.
In Wonder Woman 1984, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) is an ancient artifacts curator by day and superhero by night. However, when the powerful Dreamstone goes missing, Wonder Woman finds herself facing off against the villainous Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) and the Cheetah (Kristen Wiig).
The DC film features numerous entertaining and fast-moving scenes. From Prince lassoing her way around a mall to White House shoot-outs, Wonder Woman 1984 is about as action-packed as it gets.
As well, let’s not forget about that thrilling opening sequence. Fans see a young Wonder Woman and numerous gladiators take part in an obstacle race that includes rope climbing, pole jumping, swimming and horseback riding.
Last month, the film’s stunt coordinator Rob Inch opened up about how long it took to plan that iconic opening scene. As it turns out, Inch pulled inspiration from X Games when it came to coordinating the dynamic sequence.
“We probably spent four to five months in prep,” Inch tells SyFy. “I remember going on YouTube and looking at X Games and Red Bull athletes and going, 'How can we use that piece? How can we stretch it?' So like the run-up-the-wall back-flip, we turned that into a run-up-the-wall back-flip with a high jump in it. We also had input on how that stadium was designed for the start of the obstacle race. I needed steps for these girls to run out. We needed poles for them to flip. Those things were not a proxy set. They were built at the actual heights like up to 15 meters.”
Over the years, four superhero films have won Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture. The Dark Knight took home the award in 2009. As well, DC and Marvel films have won the category for the past three consecutive years. Wonder Woman won in 2018 followed by Black Panther in 2019 and Avengers: Endgame in 2020.
The opening scene to Wonder Woman 1984 and the official trailer are available to watch below.
More on the 2021 Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture nominees
Da 5 Bloods
The Spike Lee-directed Da 5 Bloods follows a group of Vietnam War veterans who return to the country to find the gold they buried while in the service. Throughout the film, the friends—Paul (Delroy Lindo), Otis (Clarke Peters), Eddie (Norm Lewis) and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.)—face-threatening situations. From hidden landmines to exploding grenades and aggressive gunfire, Da 5 Bloods features numerous dangerous stunts.
The film also has frequent flashbacks to the Vietnam War including various battle scenes with Commander Norman Earl “Stormin’ Norman” Holloway (Chadwick Boseman). During these moments, the actors and stunt performers are in the middle of explosions and dropping bombs that offer an accurate depiction of the war.
Along with this category, Da 5 Bloods is also up for 2 other SAG awards. Boseman’s powerful performance has earned him a posthumous nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. As well, the film's actors are up for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Since 2008, when the Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture category was created, three war films have won the award. In 2014, the Mark Wahlberg-led movie Lone Survivor won followed by the Angelina Jolie-directed Unbroken in 2015. More recently, the Mel Gibson-directed Hacksaw Ridge, which stars Andrew Garfield, took home the award in 2017.
Da 5 Bloods is streaming now on Netflix, and the trailer can be watched below.
The live-action Mulan follows Hua Mulan, a fearless woman who saves her father by serving in the Imperial Army in China. In order to do so, she hides her identity and disguises herself as a man.
The film features numerous war sequences with hundreds of actors and stunt performers. Along with martial arts and sword fighting, Mulan also includes an extensive amount of violent choreographed battles. According to the movie’s cinematographer Mandy Walker, they didn’t rely on CGI to make the massive war scenes realistic.
“We had 60 horses and 100 people for each side of the battle," Walker tells Insider. “So we had it for real. I think you can really tell in the movie that it’s not just extensions or CGI.”
Walker also revealed that Mulan star Yifei Liu actually performed most of her own stunts in the live-action remake.
"Liu Yifei is incredible," Walker tells Insider. "Apart from being a lovely person, she's very professional. She did pretty much most of the stunt work herself—the horse riding, the sword fighting, the martial arts, the battle sequences, the stunts. We always had a stunt person there, but she trained as well and we would try it with her and, nine times out of 10, she did it."
Last year, Ashlee Fidow, the stunt double for Liu, opened up about one of the most challenging moments on the set of the film.
“It involved me doing a brief hold underwater,” Fidow tells Sphera. “So I had the full costume on. I had the heavy cape. I had the armor, the little boots. [I] even had a sword in my hand while I was doing the sequence... It was pretty cool to do. The build-up to it because there was a dive team that they had there to specialize in the water stunt. I spent a bit of time training with them and doing scuba diving training. Then, freediving training to build up to do the scene.”
Mulan is available to watch on Disney+.
News Of The World
News Of The World follows Civil War veteran Captain Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks) who spends his time traveling to different towns reading news from around the world. During his travels, he comes across a girl named Johanna Leonberger (Helena Zengel) who was taken by the Kiowa people. Eventually, Kidd decides to return Leonberger to her blood relatives against her will.
Throughout Kidd and Leonberger’s journey to find her family, they come across numerous enemies who are trying to kidnap her. As a result, the western film is filled with tense shootouts, skilled horse chases and carriage crashes.
Over the years, no western film has ever won Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture. However, two other movies have earned nominations. Cowboys & Aliens was up for the award in 2012 but lost to Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2. More recently, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs was nominated in 2019, but lost to Black Panther.
News Of The World’s nomination at the SAG Awards has made history in another way, too. Zengel is up for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, marking only the third time a western is competing in multiple categories at the awards show.
Previously, No Country For Old Men was nominated in two categories in 2008. Javier Bardem went on to win Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for the film. Meanwhile, True Grit also earned two nominations in 2011 but didn’t take home any awards.
The Trial Of The Chicago 7
The Aaron Sorkin-directed Trial Of The Chicago 7 follows the Chicago Seven, a group of anti-Vietnam War activists who were put on trial in the ’60s. The group was charged with conspiracy and intention of starting riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
The film includes numerous scenes of protestors clashing with police. Hundreds of actors and stunt performers were needed to re-enact these moments that happened during the era of unrest. From protestors being bloodied with police batons to being pushed through windows and attacked with tear gas, The Trial Of The Chicago 7 is more than just a courtroom drama. With the help of the stunt ensemble, the film is able to convey the tense rift between law officers and the mass group of protestors in the 1960s.
Along with Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture, The Trial Of The Chicago 7 scored two other nominations this year. Sacha Baron Cohen is up for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. As well, the film's actors are also nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
The Trial Of The Chicago 7 is currently streaming on Netflix.
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