In their first public comments since two of their actors were killed, producers of the Millarworld comic adaptation The Chosen One called the tragedy “an unfortunate accident.”
Two actors on the Netflix series, an adaptation of the comic book American Jesus, were killed and six other cast or crew members injured after the van they were riding in crashed in Mexico’s Baja California peninsula last Thursday.
RedRum, the production company behind the show, said the group had an accident en route from Santa Rosalía, Baja California, to the local airport and there was no evidence that safety procedures had been breached.
Local media reported that the van overturned after it went off the road in a desert area near Mulege, southeast of Santa Rosalía, on Thursday.
Production has been shut down, according to a person with knowledge of the show who was not authorized to speak publicly.
“All of us in the production of The Chosen One are shocked by the tragic accident,” the production company said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened by the deaths of our colleagues Ray Garduño and Juan Francisco González and support all those affected by this unspeakable tragedy. Redrum has been working with local authorities and initial reports and reports from witnesses indicate all safety protocols were in place and this was an unfortunate accident.”
Netflix issued a brief statement Monday, saying, “Our thoughts are with their loved ones and with those injured in this unfortunate accident.”
The public comments from the show’s creators are the first since last week’s tragedy.
Former colleagues of the actors have thought of them on social media. Several posters called for an investigation into the accident. One said the actors on set complained about transportation issues, including tired drivers.
Yeray Albelda, a 37-year-old actor, was one of the van’s passengers. He said crew members departed for a week-and-a-half break and that at least several other passengers – including the two who died in the crash – planned to spend them at home in Tijuana.
Once they stopped for burritos. The accident happened several hours after the start of the journey, said Albelda, who suffered fractured skulls and collarbones and cannot remember the accident.
Albelda came to Santa Rosalia in early June to work on the set. He said he hadn’t heard any complaints about tired drivers and that fresh drivers were working while others were resting.
“I’ve never seen anything strange,” he said. “I’ve never seen flat tires or exposed cables.”
But Albelda said some people working on the series complained that they had to drive more than two hours to get to the film set because they couldn’t get a hotel room in the area.
Although rare, accidents on film sets have increased as production boomed and crews worked longer hours. Crews have fought for decades to get unions and studios to recognize the risks of working long hours and commuting when tired. Crews can often work 12 to 14 hour days.
In 1997, camera assistant Brent Hershman died after falling asleep at the wheel of his car while driving home from a 19-hour workday on the set of the Long Beach film Pleasantville.
The Chosen One was one of the latest adaptations from Netflix’s 2017 acquisition of comic book company Millarworld, a deal pursued to meet demand for superhero-related content. The goal was to adapt characters from the publishing titles into shows, films and children’s content to stream on Netflix.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2022-06-20/the-chosen-one-producers-say-cast-and-crew-deaths-injuries-were-an-unfortunate-accident ‘The Chosen One’ producers, Netflix comment on actor deaths