Tragedy struck during the production of the DC Universe series Titans, as a crew member was reportedly killed on set after an apparent stunt gone wrong. The incident happened Thursday in Toronto at a test facility where the show's production crew was devising stunts to be seen on the show to later be filmed on location. This particular stunt involved a car flipping onto its side, and although the car flipped as planned, a piece of metal which has been welded onto the vehicle had flown off during the crash. The object struck the special effects coordinator in the head, and the man died in the ambulance en route to the hospital. Production on the series will shut down for two days for the Ministry of Labour to investigate.
The deceased has been identified as Warren Appleby, a veteran special FX artist who'd been working professionally in the business for 25 years. Titans executive producers confirmed Appleby's passing in a statement, expressing their shock and sorrow over the tragedy.
"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," their statement reads. "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."
Titans first premiered on DC Universe on Oct. 12, 2018. The live-action series is based on characters from the DC Comics series Teen Titans, which has also had multiple animated iterations. The series stars Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson, Anna Diop as Kory Anders, Teagan Croft as Rachel Roth, and Ryan Potter as Garfield Logan. Its second season is expected to premiere in late 2019, while the spin-off series Doom Patrol premiered on the streaming service earlier this year.
Appleby's career in special effects dates back many years, with his first credited work listed as the 1994 RoboCop TV series. He would then hone his expertise by working on the special effects for dozens of movies and TV shows in the coming years. More recently, he had done a lot of work on such acclaimed TV series as Hemlock Grove for Netflix, 11.22.63 for Hulu, and The Strain for FX. He also worked on Best Picture Oscar winner The Shape of Water from director Guillermo del Toro, as well as Andy Muschietti's horror movie It and its upcoming sequel. He had been working on Titans since the production of its very first episode.
As described, what happened on the set sounds absolutely horrific, and the freak accident is a stark reminder of just how precious life is. Our condolences are with Appleby's family and friends at this time. The FX artist's life may have been drastically cut short, but the man certainly left his mark on the world and his work will forever be preserved on the screen. This information comes to us from TMZ.