Accident Man 2 Dir George & Harry Kirby on Challenges & Inspirations

Brother George and Harry Kirby are action veterans working in the worlds of Marvel, DC, and Star Wars, including recent films Morbius, The Batman, and Venom: Let There Be Carnage. When Scott Adkins, who stars in the Accident Man franchise, came calling to direct the sequel in Hitman's Holiday, they jumped at the opportunity. The film follows Mike Fallon (Adkins), aka The Accident Man, who must beat the top assassins in the world, protect the ungrateful son of a mafia boss, save the life of his only friend, and rekindle his relationship with his maniacal father figure. The Kirby's spoke to Bleeding Cool, following up on the 2018 original, how they managed an indie budget and their dream project.

Accident Man 2 Star Scott Adkins Bringing More Comedy to Franchise
Scott Adkins and Sarah Chang in Accident Man: Hitman's Holiday (2022). Image courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films

How the Stakes Are Raised in 'Accident Man: Hitman's Holiday'

Bleeding Cool: What appealed to you guys about the 'Accident Man' sequel?

Harry Kirby: We're big action fans, and this opportunity to do lots of smart and fun martial arts action was right up our alley. We're fans of Scott's work, and George knew Scott from working with him in the stunt world. It was a fun script, funny, good action, and everything that appealed to us.

Following up on the previous film, what were some of the biggest challenges entering into this?

George Kirby: When Scott brought us on, we talked to him and [screenwriter] Stu Small about the script. After we watched the first film, Scott was keen to bring back many of the character elements for the sequel. We've got Scott as Mike [Fallon]. [Perry Benson as Finicky] Fred, and [Ray Stevenson as Big] Ray, and we were keen to keep their characteristics and characters from the first film and carry that over. Other than that, Scott's mandate was we want to have some fun with this comedy, up the action, and take it bigger for the sequel. We injected more fun, made people invest in the characters even more, and made a deeper connection with the characters.

Accident Man 2 Dir George & Harry Kirby on Challenges & Inspirations
Peter Lee Thomas and Sarah Chang in Accident Man: Hitman's Holiday (2022). Image courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films

How do you compare the resources and budget constraints on a project like this with something on a much larger scale?
Harry: [The budget for a project like 'Accident Man'] got like one percent of a big Marvel movie we would work with. We had to be a lot more careful with our time. As an example, the last Bond movie had 125 days of film, and we had 22 days to film. We've got so little time, but we did a lot of prep. We did not work on the fights before we got there. With previous clients, we got together in a space, got access, and worked out what the fights would look like.

We already knew what and how we were shooting, and we believed in shooting Hong Kong-style action so that each shot has a purpose and tells the story. We're never shooting action for coverage. We never like just pointing cameras at the action to keep going again. We know exactly what the shot is and what will happen. The whole crew knew what we were already doing before we got there. If we didn't have that, we just wouldn't make a schedule to do it. It's our job to make our small budget go as far as possible because they can feel as big as possible.

Accident Man 2 Dir George & Harry Kirby on Challenges & Inspirations
Beau Flower and Scott Adkins in Accident Man: Hitman's Holiday (2022). Image courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films

The Films That Inspired Accident Man: Hitman's Holiday

What were your most influential figures have inspired your filmmaking, and how do they apply to this project?
George: Our favorite shared director is Edgar Wright, and our favorite films are 'Hot Fuzz' and 'Shaun of the Dead.' Those types of films are where the pacing is so important, and they're always moving, always visual storytelling, which keeps us moving along and the audience's interest. That's definitely what we try to do with this film, which is to keep it moving, keep the actual fun, and keep Mike and Perry's story moving forward. Given the obstacles to face all the way through and that's the style we tried to adopt. Action-wise, you've got Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Donnie Yen, especially for me personally. I grew up watching those guys, and then they've been a massive inspiration for me in terms of action and shooting styles.

Harry: I love the big fantasy action films like 'Hero' and 'Fearless.' We always try to make the fights feel larger than life and show something you've hopefully not seen before.

Accident Man 2 Star Scott Adkins Bringing More Comedy to Franchise
Samuel Goldwyn Films

Is there a dream project you hope to work on in the future?

One of mine would be the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.' The original live-action film was one of my favorite films ever. As kids, we used to run around with bandanas and shells on our backs. That original film, to me, is pretty perfect Turtles, and it's never really been done since. We got to go back and bring some more live action into it and not so much CG.

George: On our YouTube channel, we've done some live-action 'Dragon Ball Z,' and that would be another dream project just to get a Marvel-level budget to do 'Dragon Ball Z.' That would be pretty sweet, but I'll say that's dreaming at the moment [laughs].

Samuel Goldwyn Films' Accident Man: Hitman's Holiday is currently available in theaters, digital, and on demand.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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