Action Festival Recap: Kit Harington Surprise, Inside Fast & Furious, John Wick Villains and More Excite London Crowds

Den of Geek returned as senior media partner for the London Action Festival. Check out our roundup of the best moments!

London Action Festival 2023
Photo: Alex Lubetkin

Den of Geek serves as the media partner of the London Action Festival

Sometimes the sequel is better. The London Action Festival 2 blew the bloody doors off with an action-packed weekend celebrating the influential creatives who crafted some of the most iconic moments in the action film and television genre. 

Den of Geek returned as senior media partner and we were on hand in London to witness the best panels, surprise moments, and fascinating insights from professionals at all levels of the production process, from directors and stars, to editors, composers, stuntmen, and more. Check out some of the best photos from the weekend below!

The second annual festival rev’d up with what was billed as the “World’s Greatest Screening Ever… Probably” of The Italian Job. Three mini coopers — red, white, and blue — greeted fans who stopped for a photo opp as they entered the screening at the Royal Geographic Society in South Kensington.

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Though Sir Michael Caine couldn’t be in attendance, the festival paid homage to the British actor by asking the packed house to sing a ‘Happy Birthday’ message to celebrate his recent 90th birthday.

The post-screening Q&A was moderated by Matthew Field, author of The Self Preservation Society: 50 years of The Italian Job, who was joined by Hazel and Tara Collison, widow and son of Italian Job director Peter Collinson, actor and vehicle coordinator David Salamone, and Sophie Kennedy, daughter of screenwriter Troy Kennedy-Martin. 

The events continued with the Friday Night Showdown and Moving Target Awards, which honored director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, Goldeneye, The Mask of Zorro) and special effects supervisor Chris Corbould OBE (Inception, The Dark Knight, Casino Royale). The evening featured surprise high-profile video tributes from Daniel Craig, Christopher Nolan, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, J.J. Abrams, and Liam Neeson. 

In the festival’s biggest surprise moment, Game of Thrones star Kit Harington took the stage and elated fans following the showing of the “Battle of the Bastards” episode of Game of Thrones. Harington joined director Miguel Sapochnik, cinematographer Fabian Wagner and editor Tim Porter to break down the creation of the modern TV classic. 

Some of the festival’s other highlights included a special screening of the first two episodes of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Season 4 with a Q&A with star Wendell Pierce.

Scott Adkins (John Wick Chapter 4) and Mark Dacascos (John Wick Chapter 3) shared behind the scenes secrets in a lively panel centered on the villains of the John Wick franchise. 

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To celebrate the home entertainment release of Fast X, the festival held a double bill in association with Universal Picture Home Entertainment. The first panel, Car Chasers, focused on the famous car chaser scenes from the Fast franchise. Renowned stunt professional Rick English and Matthew Stirling, whose combined credits span over 300 features and TV shows, had Fast & Furious fans rapt with their jaw-dropping on-set stunt stories.

The second panel of the double bill was an inside look at the craft of Visual Effects that are part of the latest installment in the franchise, FAST X. The panel featured some of the leading effects houses in the field of Visualization including Dionysis Bouloutzas (Ghost VFX), Nic Birmingham (Blue Bolt), and Paul Jones (ILM) and a contribution from Director Louis Leterrier.

Fast X

As part of the celebration of Warner Bros 100th anniversary, the Festival hosted a 50th anniversary screening of the iconic Enter The Dragon, featuring a specially recorded introduction by Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, and followed by a panel, moderated by Mike Fury, discussing Bruce Lee’s legacy that included Warrior star Andrew Koji, Ruqsana Begum, world Muy Thai champion, and Weng Yu, Assistant Director of the Fighting Spirit Film Festival.

In the debut of the festival’s “The Cut Above” panel, editors Nathan Orloff (editor on “John Wick Chapter 4”), Eddie Hamilton (“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning” Part One and Top Gun: Maverick) and Tim Porter (“Game of Thrones”) gave a masterclass on the art of film editing.

In an illuminating masterclass, The Marvels director Nia DaCosta (Candyman) shared her experience of moving from indies, to mid-budget horror, to her upcoming mega-budget Marvel Studios project. Held in association with Imperial College Film Society, a group of aspiring filmmakers joined DaCosta for photos afterwards.

Marvel Studios’ Loki composer Natalie Holt gifted a fan a Mondo record recording of the soundtrack from season one. During her masterclass panel, Holt gave insights into her process of building the show’s sound from script to screen, while teasing what’s to come in Loki season 2.

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Visit The London Action Festival website to learn more. You can follow for updates on future editions of the festival on Instagram and Twitter.