Cinemax‘s first primetime drama series Strike Back had been filming its 10-episode fourth and final season in Bangkok, Thailand when one of its two stars, Sullivan Stapleton, suffered a serious injury while exploring the town in his free time. As a result, filming of the series will take a six-month break so he can recover. Because of Strike Back‘s action nature, the roles of stars Stapleton and Philip Winchester are physically demanding, often involving stunt work, which requires them to be in perfect physical condition that often includes intensive pre-filming training. Production will continue in Thailand through March as scheduled before it takes a break, resuming in the fall in Hungary. In the next few weeks, the series will be filming around Stapleton. He stars in the upcoming 300: Rise Of An Empire, which opens next week, so I hear Stapleton had filmed a lot of his Strike Back scenes in order to accommodate the standard carve-out given to actors on series who have a movie to promote. His injury will likely impact his promotional plans for 300.
Meanwhile, the lengthy Strike Back production hiatus may affect the series’ premiere date, which had been slated for 2014 but may be delayed. Here is a statement from HBO/Cinemax and its Strike Back producing partners Sky and Left Bank Pictures: “After an off-set accident involving Sullivan Stapleton, there has been a change in the Strike Back production schedule. Following completion of shooting in Thailand, production in Hungary will be on hiatus to allow him time to recover. We plan on resuming production in the fall. HBO/Cinemax, Sky and Left Bank Pictures all join in wishing Sullivan a full and speedy recovery.” A rep for Sullivan issued a statement addressing his status. “Following the accident in Thailand, Sullivan is resting comfortably and on his way to a full recovery. We appreciate all of the well-wishes and support.”