Scott Adkins is becoming a bona fide action hero. Throughout his career, he’s starred in films like Day Shift and The Expendables 2, as well as Marvel movies like Doctor Strange and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He’s even about to star in the upcoming Keanu Reeves-led John Wick: Chapter 4. But his most recent film is a personal passion project.
In 2018. he adapted the comic Accident Man into a feature film. The movie (and comic) centers around Mike Fallon, the “Accident Man”, a trained hit man who is an expert at making his kills appear to be simple accidents. Infused with violence, bold colors, and humor, the movie felt like it had been injected with tones of Kingsman, Crank, and Deadpool. Now, a follow-up, Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday, is releasing in theaters and on video on demand on October 14. In a conversation with Digital Trends, Adkins talks about balancing action scenes and comedy, how Deadpool helped pave the way for Accident Man, and whether or not Mike Fallon will ever battle John Wick on-screen.
Digital Trends: Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday blends action and comedy so seamlessly, how did you make that combo come together? What was the inspiration behind it?
Scott Adkins: British comics in the ’80s were really violent, like when you think about stuff like 2,000 A.D. I had grown up reading those comics, thinking I want to put that on the screen. You know, it’s adult, it’s violent, it’s funny. I had this comic book (Accident Man) as a 14-year-old, and I just loved the character. And for a long time, I was trying to get it made into a film and people were saying, no, you can’t make this. It’s just too violent and dark.
It wasn’t until Matthew Vaughn did Kick-Ass and Ryan Reynolds finally got Deadpool to be made the way he wanted that suddenly the producers were like, “Oh, this is great!” That’s why you get those similar vibes in Accident Man, because it’s the feeling of comic books that I read growing up.
Do you think it was difficult to jump between violence and comedy so readily? Or do you think that they actually complemented each other?
Of course they complement each other. It’s all the same stuff, man. Violence is funny. I mean, maybe I’m sick in the head, but I love it. It’s entertaining to me. Think of Evil Dead. The first one, it’s scary, but it’s also funny as well. And obviously, The Evil Dead 2 took it to the next level with the violence, horror, and comedy. They complement each other so well. So yeah, that’s what we wanted to do with this.
Was there any specific stunt or fight scene that you really loved doing?
Well, honestly, I don’t really enjoy it (laughs). It’s hard work. I’ve been carrying injuries, getting punched. It’s the final result that makes it all worthwhile. It’s funny because as you’re doing the fighting, it kind of hurts. You’ve got injuries, you know, you’ve got hits, your back is gone. But then you look at the monitor and you’re like, “oh, yes, it works” and it’s brilliant. And then you get jazzed up again and you’re ready to go again. It’s the grind of trying to get that perfect shot. It’s a love-hate relationship for me, to be honest. So I love the finished product, but doing it is difficult.
Are you already making plans for a third film in the series?
I’d like there to be, but it’s not up to me, it’s up to the audience. It depends if they enjoy this one and leave some good reviews to show Sony Pictures. It’s all about getting the people with the money to agree to let you do it. So, hopefully, I’d love to because I’ve got some ideas.
You had mentioned how movies like Deadpool getting made helped Accident Man get the greenlight, but with so many action comedies right now, what do you think makes your movie stand out?
We’re saturated with comic book movies, CGI-fests, actors with face placement, and everything. What are you going to get with this film? It’s real physical performers. High-level martial artists putting down some high-level martial arts action sequences, the likes of which you used to see in Hong Kong action movies. That’s the vibe we’re bringing back, but we’re coming with comedy and fun as well. But at its heart, it’s an old-school martial arts film, which I don’t think we have much of these days.
Are there any of those old action movies that really inspired you?
There were these films called No Retreat, No Surrender when I was a kid, and no one in their right mind would say that those movies were good … except for me, because I absolutely loved them. Sometimes you were laughing at it for the wrong reasons, but that’s how I wanted to make my film … but hopefully, you laugh at Accident Man for the right reasons. But they were just insanely entertaining, like great fights, fun stories, just highly entertaining. And that’s what I wanted to do with my movie.
Is there any action hero you’d love to appear in an Accident Man movie someday?
I’d love for Mike Fallon, the Accident Man, to kill John Wick someday, but I’m not sure that’s gonna happen!
Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday will have a limited theatrical release and premiere on video on demand on October 14.