A crew member for superhero show Titans has been tragically killed after an accident took place during production on season 2. The DC Universe series was officially renewed for a second season last October before the first episode of Titans had even premiered. Season 2 entered the pre-production and script-writing stage shortly after it was confirmed, and the Titans cast and crew starting filming episodes back in April.
The accident in question occurred at a special effects test facility in Toronto (where Titans is filmed), where production crews practice stunts and iron out any problems before filming the stunt on location. The Titans crew was rehearsing a stunt that involved flipping a car on its side; and though that part of the stunt was performed correctly, it caused a piece of metal that was attached to the car to break off, which then struck special effects coordinator Warren Appleby in the head. EMTs were called and Appleby was rushed to hospital, but tragically died en route.
According to TMZ, who first reported the news, production on Titans will be shut down for two days, and Canada’s Ministry of Labor is currently investigating the incident. The show’s producers issued a statement about Appleby’s death, which you can read below:
“We are heartbroken and devastated by the passing of our treasured colleague, special effects coordinator Warren Appleby, after an accident which occurred at a special effects facility during the preparation and testing for an upcoming shoot. Warren is beloved by all who worked with him during an impressive 25-year career in television and motion pictures. The executive producers, along with everyone, in the Titans family, Warner Bros. Television Group and DC Universe, wish to express our deepest condolences, and heartfelt love and support, to Warren's family and friends at this most difficult time."
Appleby did indeed have a lengthy and impressive career in the special effects industry. His career began in the 1990s, during which time he worked on the David Cronenberg movies Crash and eXistenZ. More recently, Appleby exercised his talents on the sets of horror movies such as the 2011 prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing and Andy Muschietti’s debut feature Mama, as well as his sophomore movie IT. In addition to Titans, Appleby’s TV work includes the American version of crime drama The Bridge, the Stephen King adaptation 11.22.63, and the sci-fi series Killjoys. He also worked on the horror drama The Strain, which reunited him with Guillermo del Toro, who he’d previously collaborated with on The Shape of Water. Appleby was also the special effects coordinator on the upcoming movies IT: Chapter Two and My Spy.
Appleby’s death is by no means the first tragic accident to happen on a film set. Working as part of a film crew can be a dangerous job, especially when complicated stunts are involved. Hopefully, the Ministry of Labor’s investigation can determine what went wrong and the Titans production team can put measures in place that prevent any further tragedies happening.