In a recent interview with ComingSoon, Ben Simms, the director and executive producer of Netflix’s Escape The Undertaker, detailed the advantages of working with WWE Superstars as opposed to regular actors.
According to Simms, he and his crew could wrap up production quickly since The Undertaker and The New Day – the stars of the show – are live performers by trait and didn’t need multiple takes.
“We were under a very tight timeline. Luckily the talent are all live performers so that was a huge plus,” Simms said. “Our incredible crew was able to build and light every scene so we could essentially shoot almost as if it was a live show, yet still maintain high production value as well as the look and feel of a movie. In any production, you’ll always have budget and timeline challenges, but this was easily the fastest I’ve shot anything of scope.”
When asked to share behind-the-scenes stories from the production, Simms once again touched upon the “luxury” of working with pro wrestlers who are essentially their own stunt doubles.
“I really enjoyed choreographing and shooting the fight scene,” Simms said. “Having characters that are essentially their own stunt doubles was such a luxury. We had an incredible stunt team working in conjunction with the performers that knew their capabilities and how to push those. As a result of the timing between choices and the age demographic, we ended up really having to tone down some of the fight and lost some great moments to time… Hopefully, someday there will be a version of the full sequence.”
Simms said he was immediately drawn to the project due to The Undertaker’s legacy.
“The Undertaker is such an iconic character and the initial concept just seemed to beg to be made as an interactive film. Together those were both very enticing. I didn’t know much about The New Day prior to the project, but once I got to know them as characters I couldn’t wait to work with them.”
Escape the Undertaker is an interactive WWE-themed horror special in which The New Day try to escape The Undertaker’s Haunted House. The series was released on October 5.