Boy Kills World’s Dawid Szatarski on making the motion film’s insane combat scenes

A man looks to his side in Boy Kills World.

Revenge is a dish greatest served … with a cheese grater? Well, no less than that’s how the saying goes in Boy Kills World, the brand new martial arts action-comedy from director Moritz Mohr. Bill Skarsgård stars a Boy, a deaf and mute orphan who vows to kill Hilda van der Koy (Famke Janssen), the chief of an authoritarian regime who murdered his household. Under the tutelage of the mysterious shaman (Yayan Ruhian), Boy turns into a educated killer who will cease at nothing till he has his vengeance.

Boy Kills World is an ultraviolent experience with elaborate combat sequences and harsh kills, together with a kitchen duel with that pesky cheese grater. Boy Kills World channels the spirit of John Wick, the martial arts of Korean motion films, the violence of a Street Fighter online game, and the aesthetic of Japanese anime for an action-packed revenge thriller.

Dawid Szatarski, the motion director and combat coordinator on Boy Kills World, is the architect behind the managed chaos. As a veteran combat choreographer and stunt performer, Szatarski used his martial arts experience and wild creativeness to craft the gorgeous fight scenes in Boy Kills World. In an interview with Digital Trends, Szatarski mentioned Boy Kills World’s lengthy growth course of, the key to on-camera combat scenes, and incorporate humor right into a violent film.

Note: This interview has been edited for size and readability.

Digital Trends: For somebody who loves and appreciates martial arts, combat scenes, and motion choreography, I’ll pose this query to you: If you can have labored on the fights of any movie in historical past, what would you decide and why?

Dawid Szatarski: It sounds humorous, however I nonetheless would take Boy Kills World as a result of the film is so tousled. This film has a terrific alternative to have surprises round every nook. It wouldn’t be that stunning if an enormous unicorn comes behind the nook and fights Boy. [laughs] I actually like that there’s some artistic levity to this film that I believe fewer movies these days have.

This movie has been in growth for just a few years. I do know one of many methods you attracted producers was by way of a proof-of-concept movie. You starred in it. How did that course of come about?

Yeah, it was eight years again. We [Moritz and Dawid] got here collectively. We wished to do one thing like an R-rated karate film. A messed-up one. Then, it developed into this tremendous loopy “Looney Tunes on acid.” That’s what the trailer stated, proper? [laughs]

Yeah, it was a troublesome journey. I’ll be very trustworthy. It was lots of proof of ideas. I didn’t have any hope in any respect that this undertaking was going to occur, nevertheless it occurred in the absolute best means I believe we may have imagined. Yeah, I’m very grateful and blessed for this chance.

For the combat scenes, the martial arts must be carried out nicely on digicam. What’s the key to creating a transfer look good on digicam?

I at all times say I waft. Sometimes, it simply begins with the actor. What fits the actor the perfect? Let’s work out some shapes. [throwing air punches] Do this, do that. No, put your shoulder down. For June27*, for instance, I used to be very bored with — no disrespect, I labored on Black Widow myself — all these fancy strikes [pretending to flip hair] the place the tiny girl kicks somebody, and this large man flies by way of the wall and proper by way of the door.

I stated no. Let’s have June combat within the peekaboo model, like Mike Tyson, utilizing her helmet for headbutts and having these tomahawks. I believe the tomahawks have been Moritz’s thought, by the best way. But that was the method, determining the form first after which going into my “martial arts soup.” Also with the digicam model, deciding what’s nice, what is just not nice, after which utilizing that on the finish of the day.

*June27 is a personality performed by Jessica Rothe.

A female warrior wears a helmet that says, "Die."
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Whose thought was it to place the helmet on her [June27]? That was a badass transfer. I appreciated all of the phrases coming throughout her helmet.

Yeah, that’s Moritz. I don’t know what was the inspiration behind it, nevertheless it’s very distinctive. I like it. I’ve a helmet myself at residence, which Moritz is a bit jealous of. [laughs]

That’s a great collectible from the film I wish to have. Boy is within the heart of this movie. He’s deaf and mute. He can’t say something throughout these motion sequences. As the architect behind these combat scenes, how did you incorporate feelings — humor, worry, and love — within the choreography for Bill [Skarsgård]?

With Bill, for instance, he’s a terrific character actor. He is aware of categorical himself by way of his eyes. He is aware of categorical himself by way of the actions. There’s one thing very particular about Boy. It’s not that he’s only a expert martial artist, however there’s some goofiness to him. Something that makes him very pretty. You sympathize in a short time with him.

I believe the humor stage inside preventing is should you don’t have limitations to the violence, you are able to do no matter you need. That’s why I took the cheese grater, for instance. I bear in mind having this Zoom name with Moritz. “Hey, Dawid, we are going to have a fight scene inside the kitchen.” I went to the kitchen with my mother, and I used to be like, “What is funny?” I used to be like [upon seeing the cheese grater], “Oh. Dude!” I put it [cheese grater] as a protect. I bear in mind Moritz taking a screenshot. He cherished it and it ended up within the storyboard. The relaxation is historical past.

That’s the humor stage contained in the motion. You don’t must make one thing humorous. You can take one thing that’s very grotesque and violent. There’s some very particular humor contained in the violence, which I actually love. It’s one thing I like to do.

A woman points and shoots a gun.
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Once you stated Bill’s eyes, I at all times consider when he was Pennywise the Dancing Clown. He comes on display screen and acts by way of his facial expressions the entire time. It’s good.

Yeah, that’s very a lot true. That’s why once they stated it’s going to be Bill Skarsgård [for Boy Kills World], I used to be like, wow, good. These lengthy arms, lengthy legs, this expressive face. It was the right alternative.

I learn that Moritz gave you freedom as a stunt designer and coordinator to give you combat sequences you’ve at all times wished to do. Off the highest of your head, what’s one or two scenes that you simply by no means thought may occur in your wildest goals however you place within the movie? 

I believe the mix of anime and brutal, natural combat sequences is one thing I actually wished to realize on this one, and I believe we did, particularly within the final combat sequence, as a result of it was very powerful to stability. Having these loopy digicam anime pictures in a sensible means is sort of tough, however I believe we balanced all of it fairly nicely.

Boy Kills World is now in theaters.

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