Stuntman Joe Watts is on the road to recovery following a major on-set injury he suffered while filming Fast & Furious 9. Watts, a stunt performer with several years of experience on major blockbusters, sustained the injury last month after falling from an elevated set at Leavesden Studios in London while filming with the production's second unit. Now, per an update from his girlfriend Tilly Powell, Watts has been moved out of the ICU. Here's what she had to say in a statement.
"While Joe remains in hospital and there is still a long road ahead, he has been moved out of the ICU and doctors are pleased with his progress. We'd especially like to send an enormous thank-you to the air ambulance crew, all the fantastic doctors, nurses and staff at the Royal London Hospital who have provided amazing care to Joe. We have been overwhelmed by the incredible support from friends, family and the stunt community, as well as the 'Fast & Furious 9' cast, crew and Universal Pictures."
The full nature of Joe Watts' injuries haven't been made public, but it's said that he suffered major head trauma. Watts has been in the ICU recovering ever since. The U.K.'s Health and Safety Executive has since opened an investigation, seeking to discover the cause of the incident. A spokesperson for Universal Pictures, the studio behind the highly successful franchise, said the following in a statement.
"The filmmakers, talent and crew of 'Fast & Furious 9' are heartened that Joe is on the road to recovery with the support of his loved ones. Joe is a professional in every sense of the word and his commitment to his craft is inspiring to all of us. We know he'll continue to inspire us throughout his recovery. Everyone in the 'Fast' family sends our heartfelt wishes and we will continue to support Joe and his family however we can."
Joe Watts is by no means a rookie. His impressive resume includes projects such as Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Spider-Man: Far From Home and Game of Thrones, amongst many others. Unfortunately, Watts isn't the only crew member to suffer a major injury in recent years working on a major production. In July, Warren Appleby, a veteran special effects coordinator, died following an incident on the set of the DC series Titans. Stuntman John Bernecker passed away while filming AMC's The Walking Dead in 2017 and Joi "SJ" Harris also died while performing a stunt for Deadpool 2 that same year.
Fast & Furious 9 is currently filming under the direction of Justin Lin. The cast sees many familiar faces returning, including Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron, whith John Cena also boarding the franchise. The movie is on track for release on May 22, 2020. This news was previously reported by Variety.