Production on Season 2 of DC Universe’s tentpole program Titans shut down suddenly after a tragedy struck the set. A veteran crew member was killed during the practice of a stunt in Toronto.
TMZ reported special effects coordinator Warren Appleby was hit in the head by a heavy piece of shrapnel while performing a stunt and died on the way to the hospital. The incident happened at a facility where stunts are tested out before they are done in front of cameras.
The stunt, reportedly involved a car flipping on its side which is standard for action sequences. It caused the shrapnel to break loose and fly toward Appleby, claimed local authorities on the scene.
Warner Bros. Television issued the following statement in the wake of the accident and Appleby’s untimely death:
“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.”
Like the statement says, Appleby had a career that went back 25 years. He was part of many highbrow productions in Canada such as The Shape of Water, Saw IV, Tommy Boy, Max Payne, and Repo Men. He worked on several horror remakes including Carrie, Assault on Precinct 13, and The Thing.
Appleby’s career started in television, working on RoboCop the TV series as an effects assistant. His other TV credits include The Strain and Killjoys. In his time we worked with renowned and award-winning directors James Wan, David Cronenberg, and Guillermo Del Toro.
Titan Production Halted for Two Days
CBC posted a tribute to Appleby on Friday saying he was known for his “safety as well as his humour, leadership and quiet confidence.” They added the accident that took his life was caused by an explosion.
“This is just the worst fear of what we do,” said longtime friend and producer J. Miles Dale. “But he would deliver. The gags were good and it was safe. There would be times where we’d be doing something and it would be ‘3, 2, 1’ and he’d go, ‘Abort, abort — stop, stop, stop.'”
Dale remarked the randomness of the accident and the surreal feeling in its wake. “To think if he was standing six inches one way or the another, we wouldn’t be talking today,” he said. “It’s the arbitrariness of that that gets me.”
Called a humble and devoted family man by those who knew him, Appleby is survived by his wife and two children.
Titans resumed production after two days. Season 2’s release date was initially unknown but it was revealed at San Diego Comic-Con to be Sept. 6th.
— DiscussingFilm @ SDCC (@DiscussingFilm) July 21, 2019
Sister programming Swamp Thing was canceled with the airing of episode one and Doom Patrol’s fate is uncertain though it was featured in the video promo for HBO Max.