Adding to what has already been a somewhat difficult production for the Cinemax adaptation of Luc Besson’s Transporter franchise, the show’s producers are likely to place production on hold through the remainder of 2011, after an on-set injury to series star Chris Vance has left him unable to perform certain stunts required for the action packed show.
Early last month, Vance was injured filming an action sequence – prompting producers to shut down production to ensure their star was back to fighting shape before resuming his acting duties. Showrunner Steve Shill said, “We want to ensure Chris’ return to peak physical condition before putting him back in front of the camera to continue shooting this fast-paced, action-packed series.”
Initially, Vance’s recovery time was thought to last somewhere around 2-3 weeks; however, it seems the actor is not mending as quickly as producers of Transporter had hoped – Vance is reportedly still walking with a limp. The coupling of a hobbled star and the encroaching holidays has left those in charge with the difficult decision of potentially shutting down production until 2012.
According to a message from production manager Anna Beben, Vance has not been cleared for filming and the actor’s status won’t be re-evaluated for another 3 weeks – and by that time “the producers may decide that it is best to simply return in the new year.”
Where this puts Transporter in terms of its proposed premiere on the pay-cable network is unclear. Filming on the 12-episode season began in June and was intended to wrap sometime in November. If producers are leaning toward a 2012 restart, that could mean the remainder of the season left to be filmed is a small amount – which may only delay the show’s debut by a little.
Still, the news comes as yet another blow to what has been an oddly troubled production.
Earlier, original showrunners Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie (Stargate Universe) were shuffled into a supporting role after the above-mentioned Steve Shill (Dexter) was hired to oversee the production and to reel in the ever-expanding budget.
After an early screening of the series was held for members of the four broadcasters bankrolling Transporter, Shill was given the go-ahead to make additional production personnel changes – suggesting what was seen at the screening did not match well with expectations for the show.
With filming taking place on both sides of the Atlantic, a heavy dose of action sequences and pyrotechnics, as well as the added challenge of adapting a highly kinetic film series into 12 hour-long segments, have admittedly led to some missteps along the way. But those are hopefully being rectified.
According to executive producer Fred Fuchs (Camelot, The Godfather: Part III) it’s all part of a learning curve. “This is a hard show, and we’re bringing in new people, not because of a problem, but because this is the nature of filmmaking. It’s not an exact science.”
Expect more news from Screen Rant as production on Transporter resumes in the near future.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter