Assassin Mike Fallon and his predilection for “accidents” (albeit of the sort to befall other people) began his career in the pages of the British comic book “Toxic!”, before jumping into his first movie “Accident Man” in 2018. Scott Adkins portrayed Mike, along with co-writing the film as his dream project, but anyone who thought Mike had retired from the assassination game after “Accident Man”, guess again.
This time, Mike’s back in action in Malta for an even more over-the-top, accident-filled caper in “Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday”!
Mike and his colleague Finicky Fred (Perry Benson) may have set up a new base of operations in Malta, but Mike is pulled into a new job with big stakes. Ordered to protect the irksome son of Malta’s biggest crime boss, Mike is tasked with taking out the assassins arriving to pursue the contract on the degenerate he’s tasked with guarding.
Marking the feature directorial debut of George and Harry Kirby, “Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday” is one of the best action movies of 2022 by far. With Scott back in action as Mike Fallon and a collection of martial artists to give the sequel a blood bank’s-worth of ‘80s Hong Kong action DNA, “Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday’ ‘ outdoes its predecessor in anything but an accidental manner!
Today, KFK sits down to speak with the main man Scott Adkins himself on the making of “Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday”, how the Kirby brothers came aboard as directors, and creating all the zany ‘accidents’ and Hong Kong-style action that make Mike Fallon’s adventures a high octane, non-stop action-comedy master blaster!
Hi Scott, hope you’re keeping well. Welcome back to Kung Fu Kingdom!
Hi Brad, thank you and I’m doing great!
Fantastic! Well, let’s jump right into “Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday”. What can you share about the process of getting “Hitman’s Holiday” underway, compared to the first “Accident Man”?
There was a regime change at Sony, so that caused a bit of a hold up. A new boss comes in, and you’ve kind of got to convince them to do a sequel to somebody else’s movie, so that was a bit of a hold up, and then the pandemic. It’s been about four years, so I wish it had come out sooner, but we’re here now and hopefully people like it!
I think that’s a pretty safe bet! On that note, the action scenes in “Hitman’s Holiday” have a very Hong Kong-esque feel to them? Was that always the intention of you and fight choreographer Andy Long?
Yeah, absolutely. I’m a big fan of those movies, and we don’t get films like this anymore, full-on martial arts films that harken back to the golden years of Golden Harvest and stuff like that.
For me, I just wanted to make a completely entertaining movie with insane martial arts sequences with comedy and a good story. I miss those movies that I grew up on as a teenager, and it’s kind of oversaturated now with comic book films and CGI fests and everything. I just wanted something real and hardcore and fun, and “Accident Man” specifically is me bringing back the type of film that I grew up on.
Nice. What would you say was the most physically demanding stunt or fight scene shot for “Hitman’s Holiday”? Were there any injuries or accidents?
Any accidents? Yeah! (both laugh). My knee got a little hurt at the beginning of the film, and it wasn’t a bad injury, but it was something that was bugging me a bit for the rest of the film, not being able to straighten out my knee on a few days.
Some days, it hurt worse than others, and it always sucks when you’re in pain and you’ve got to just grit your teeth and get on with it, but that’s the same for a lot of the films to be honest.
All the fights were hard in different ways, and actually, the first opening fight was probably the hardest, because my knee was hurting the most on that one.
Was that the knee you had surgery on a few years back?
Yeah, it was the same one. I had a great surgeon and my knee had been brilliant for ten years, but I think I disrupted the meniscus somehow. I think it was warming up where I did it, funnily enough.
Ouch, glad it wasn’t too bad while making the rest of “Hitman’s Holiday”. So, what would you say is your favourite fight scene or stunt in the movie and what can fans expect in terms of martial arts action?
It’s hard to pick a favourite, I love all of them! They’re all different, you’ve got the Wushu vibe of the first one, and then the Yendi one is weapons-based. The Poco fight is just a lot of destruction, and then, of course, the technical, full-on Hong Kong martial arts movie fight at the end with Andy. Sarah and Peter also did a great job on their fight. The middle fight, as well, so there’s lots to choose from!
Yes, Sarah Chang was absolutely amazing in the movie, and the running gag of her suddenly appearing out of nowhere and beating up Mike Fallon was hilarious!
Yeah, I mean, obviously, I ripped off “The Pink Panther”, but why not? There’s a whole generation of kids coming up now that know Steven Martin as Inspector Clouseau, who probably haven’t seen “The Pink Panther”, so bringing it back, and if you have seen Peter Sellers’ “Pink Panther” movies, it’ll remind you of that. Go back and watch those films again after you’ve seen “Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday”, they’re amazing!
Well, speaking of that, what was it like making the film with directors George (who you met while working on “Doctor Strange”), and Harry Kirby?
Yeah, I did meet George on “Doctor Strange”, and he and Harry were perfect.
Honestly, with the first one, I asked Jesse Johnson to help me put my vision of “Accident Man” on the screen. So, he directed that film, but always with an eye on trying to do what I wanted, so it was kind of a strange experience for him – that was the job to help me do that, and he graciously did. But essentially, it’s not his vision, and it’s not totally mine, it’s somewhere in between because of the nature of what we were trying to do.
So when Jesse wasn’t available for the second one, the Kirbys had sent me this short film they did, and it was visually very astonishing, and the action was great and brilliant. I knew straight away these guys would be perfect, and they absolutely were.
They lean into the comedy much more organically than Jesse, as that’s not really his thing. These guys wanted to push into that side even more, so it worked out for the best, I think.
Yes, “Hitman’s Holiday” definitely doubles down on the comedy of the first “Accident Man” and it’s a lot wackier!
Yeah, wacky, zany, and that’s how it’s supposed to be. But, you know, taking nothing away from the first one. The first one’s great, as well, but I’d say this is a little more of an authentic version of what was in my head when I wanted to do “Accident Man”.
Going off of that, “Hitman’s Holiday” is an all-around bigger movie than its predecessor with the Maltese location, on-the-run story, and Mike Fallon’s lair. What were some of the challenges you encountered in making “Hitman’s Holiday” in comparison to the first “Accident Man”?
We wanted to have more accidents in this one, because obviously in the first one, because of what’s happening, he’s looking for vengeance and he’s not necessarily killing people and making it look like an accident. It’s more like “I’m gonna have a fight with you”, and in a martial arts film, you need that.
So, in this one, I wanted to have more of those accidents and show him applying his trade along with Finicky Fred, so that was fun to have more of that. We actually had more accidents that we cut out, because we realized that we wanted to get the story going. So, there’s a couple that we didn’t use that we’ll maybe put in “Accident Man 3” if we get the chance to do that.
Perfect segue from that, what other projects do you have coming up after the release of “Hitman’s Holiday? Obviously, “John Wick: Chapter 4” releases in March of 2023, and is there possibility or talk about an actual “Accident Man 3”?
We’ll see how this one does first before we have discussions about “Accident Man 3”. I’d love to do another, but we’ll see what happens. And with the next projects, I’ve got some good things lined up, but they’re too early to talk about.
We look forward to hearing all about those! Well, Scott, as we sign off in a moment, we’d love to get your updated view on this, especially post-Covid.
As you know, our mission is to encourage 100 million people around the world to get into martial arts for all the positive benefits that it brings to individuals, physically, mentally and socially – what do you think about this goal and how it can benefit people as the world tries to collectively rebound from the impact of the pandemic?
It’s a weird time, isn’t it? The world is in turmoil and there’s a lot of really anxiety-inducing headlines, so I recommend people switch their brain off and don’t think about it for a bit. See “Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday” and let it take your mind off all the craziness and just enjoy a highly entertaining movie.
Martial arts is also always there for everyone to try out and give themselves a bit of discipline, and have a fun way to train and stay in shape in an enjoyable way, whether you do it at home or at a nice club to have that social interaction. Martial arts cures many, many of the bad things in life, so I highly recommend it.
Very well said. Thanks Scott, it’s been a real pleasure to interview you again, we’re super looking forward to see what the fans think about “Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday”, we know they’ll love it!
I keep delivering, don’t I, Brad? Come on!
Yes absolutely you do! Connect again soon Scott.
Thanks buddy, see you!