EXCLUSIVE: Over two and a half years after Titans special effects coordinator Warren Appleby was killed while prepping a shoot for the Warner Bros superhero series, a Toronto court has finally handed down some justice.
Acme FX were fined $110,000 in Canadian dollars plus a “25% victim fine surcharge” on February 22 by Ontario Court of Justice. Equaling around $109,000 USD, the relatively light financial punishment came after the Etobicoke-based company entered a guilty plea in provincial court under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act for not ensuring “the machine, device, tool or equipment is in good condition.”
The final charge was the lesser of those original set against Acme FX, but the first court was withdrawn, according to court documents. Perhaps even more cruelly, industry vet Appleby was a partner in Acme FX.
Having worked on the Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, and Greg Berlanti created Titans for 25 episodes, in its first and second seasons, Appleby was fatal wounded in on the morning of July 18, 2019 when he was struck by a piece of metal after equipment burst at a facility on Toronto’s westside during a pre-production set-up.
Quickly taken to a nearby hospital, the 45-year old Appleby died of his injuries in transit. Ontario’s Ministry of Labour began an investigation into what went wrong fairly promptly, which led to the charges and last month’s guilty plea.
A GoFundMe site was set up to raise money for Appleby’s wife and their two young sons. Having fallen short of its goal, the site is still partially active – as you can see here.
“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,’ a statement from Warner Bros said in part after the tragedy.
“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,” said Acme FX at the time in a statement of their own. “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.”
As well as being Titan’s special effects coordinator, Appleby performed the same role on Guillermo del Toro’s 2018 Best Picture Oscar winner The Shape of Water. With additional credits on the likes of del Toro’s FX series The Strain, It and its sequel, How It Ends and the 2018 Carrie remake, IATSE 873 board member Appleby’s death was noted in the credits of 2019’s It: Chapter Two with a “In Loving Memory.”
Now having shifted from the shuttered DC Universe to HBO Max, Titans’ third season ended in October last year. A fourth season is expected to debut later this year.
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.