UPDATED with Acme FX statement and crowdsourcing info: Production has been shut down on the set of the DC Universe series Titans after a crew member was killed in an accident at a special effects facility.
Warren Appleby, the show’s special effects coordinator who had the same role on Guillermo del Toro’s 2018 Best Picture Oscar winner The Shape of Water, was killed Thursday “after an accident which occurred at a special effects facility during the preparation and testing for an upcoming shoot,” according to a statement by the show’s executive producers, Warner Bros Television Group and the DC Universe streaming service.
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No further details were provided.
In addition to Shape of Water, Appleby’s credits included being special effects supervisor on New Line Cinema’s horror reboot It and special effects coordinator on the upcoming It: Chapter 2 as part of a 25-plus-year career.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for Appleby’s wife and two young sons.
“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,’ the Warner Bros statement read. “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.”
Said Acme FX in a statement Friday: “We are devastated by the tragic loss of Acme FX partner, Warren Appleby. Warren was a beloved business partner, leader, mentor, friend and brother to many in our community, and a loving husband and father to his wife and children. He will be remembered for his quick humour, strong leadership, care and compassion for his crew and — above all else — his devotion to his family. Words cannot express how dearly he will be missed.”
Appleby also worked with del Toro on the FX series The Strain, on which he was nominated for a VES Award in 2016 in the category of Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode.
“I knew Warren as a top-notch FX man but I admired him as a father and family man, and a colleague, too,” del Toro told Deadline today. “He always gave you his 100% percent. He was very near and very dear and an integral part of our core team. He will be always be beloved and admired.”
Appleby, a special effects veteran who started in the business in the mid-1990s, has credits including David Cronenberg’s Crash, Hemlock Grove and Transporter: The Series.
Overwhelming loss and grief for the tragic passing of Warren Appleby today. Father, husband, son, brother, friend, IATSE873 board member, ACME FX partner – a vital member of the Toronto film industry, he will be sorely missed.
— Alex Kavanagh (@CostumeAlex) July 18, 2019
Titans is in production on its second season. The series premiered October 12 on Warner Bros’ newly launched streaming platform. The live-action drama series, a gritty take on the Teen Titans franchise, stars Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft, Ryan Potter, Minka Kelly and Alan Ritchson as a group of young heroes as they come of age and find belonging. The series hails from Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti and his Berlanti Productions, Weed Road Pictures and WBTV.
The series was announced as part of DC Universe’s Comic-Con panel presentation Saturday at the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton Bayfront.
Acme FX said information about a memorial service for Appleby will be provided once it becomes available.