Daniel Radcliffe will serve as executive producer for a documentary project about his “Harry Potter” stunt double, David Holmes, who was left paralyzed in an accident on the “Deathly Hallows — Part 1” set. The documentary, in conjunction with Sky and HBO Documentary Films, will be titled “David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived.”
Stunt Double Paralyzed on “Harry Potter” Set
Holmes was Radcliffe’s stunt double for the first six “Harry Potter” films, and played a Slytherin Quidditch player in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.”
Holmes was injured during test filming for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” in January 2009. He was performing a planned flying stunt when an explosion sent him falling to the ground, injuring his spine and leaving him permanently paralyzed from the chest down.
Radcliffe and Holmes have remained close friends, with Radcliffe calling Holmes an “incredibly important person in my life” in the “When Harry Left Hogwarts” documentary. Holmes said he considers Radcliffe “one of my closest friends,” as seen in the video from the Harry Potter: Wizard’s Collection below.
Holmes took up car racing and founded Ripple Productions in 2013. In 2020, he and Radcliffe launched the Cunning Stunts podcast, in which they interview other stunt actors to raise awareness about the risky job.
“David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived”
The title of the documentary is a reference to Harry Potter being called “the boy who lived” after surviving Voldemort’s attempt to kill him as a child.
The official synopsis reads:
The film is a coming-of-age story of stuntman David Holmes, a prodigious teenage gymnast from Essex, England, who is selected to play Daniel Radcliffe’s stunt double in the first Harry Potter film, when Daniel is just 11. Over the next 10 years, the two form an inextricable bond, but on the penultimate film a tragic accident on set leaves David paralyzed with a debilitating spinal injury, turning his world upside down. As Daniel and his closest stunt colleagues rally to support David and his family in their moment of need, it is David’s extraordinary spirit of resilience that becomes their greatest source of strength and inspiration.
According to Deadline, the documentary will include “candid personal footage shot over the last decade, behind-the-scenes material from Holmes’ stunt work, scenes of his current life and intimate interviews with him, Radcliffe, friends, family, and former crew, the film reflects universal themes of living with adversity, growing up and the bonds that bind people together.”
When announcing the film on Instagram, Holmes wrote,
Being a stuntman was my calling in life, and doubling Harry was the best job in the world. In January 2009, I had a stunt rehearsal accident that changed my life forever. This film tells the story of not just my achievements in front of camera, but also the challenges I face every day, and my overall attitude to life after suffering a broken neck.
Ripple Productions produces, along with Simon and Jonathan Chinn’s Lightbox. Simon Chinn, Jonathan Chinn, Vanessa Davies, and Amy Stares (also from Ripple Productions) produce. Radcliffe and Holmes executive produce, along with director Dan Hartley, Sue Latimer, Sarah Spahovic, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, Tina Nguyen, and Poppy Dixon.
“David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived” will air next month.
What do you think about this upcoming documentary? Will you be tuning in once it’s available to watch? Let us know in the comments.