Daniel Radcliffe, our beloved Harry Potter, will executive produce an upcoming HBO documentary called “David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived.” Scheduled to premiere this November, this moving film delves into the remarkable life of David Holmes, who served as Radcliffe’s stunt double throughout the magical journey of the Harry Potter film series.
The narrative begins with David, a talented teenage gymnast hailing from Essex, England, who was handpicked to stand in for the young Daniel Radcliffe in the very first Harry Potter movie when Daniel was just 11 years old. Over the course of the next ten years, a profound bond forms between the two, both on and off screen. Their friendship blossoms and they become an inseparable team in the world of filmmaking.
However, the story takes a somber turn during the filming of “Deathly Hallows Part 1.” An unfortunate accident on set leaves David Holmes with a life-altering spinal injury, paralyzing him from the chest down. The film beautifully captures the rollercoaster of emotions and events that ensue, highlighting the resilience and extraordinary spirit of David as he faces adversity head-on.
What sets this documentary apart is the wealth of candid personal footage collected over the past decade, offering viewers a glimpse into the lives of both David Holmes and Daniel Radcliffe. It also showcases behind-the-scenes materials from Holmes’ stunt work and provides a poignant look at his current life. The inclusion of intimate interviews with David, Daniel Radcliffe, friends, family, and former crew members adds a deeply personal touch, enabling us to connect with their shared experiences and challenges.
The essence of “David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived” transcends its specific subject matter. It touches on universal themes of resilience in the face of adversity, the transformative journey of growing up, crafting one’s identity in an uncertain world, and the enduring bonds that unite and uplift us. This documentary promises to be a stirring exploration of the human spirit and the power of friendship.
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Directed by Dan Hartley, known for “Lad: A Yorkshire Story,” this project is a testament to the enduring collaboration between Daniel Radcliffe and David Holmes, one that began on the set of the Harry Potter films. Even during the challenges of the pandemic in 2020, the duo joined forces to launch the “Cunning Stunts” podcast, shedding light on the often underestimated world of stunt performers in Hollywood.
Daniel Radcliffe once remarked about stuntmen, dispelling the myth that they possess superhuman qualities, stating, “When the public see something really painful or horrible, they think it was a visual effect or that there’s some clever, safe way of doing it. Often that’s not the case.” The documentary “David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived” promises to unveil the truth behind these incredible feats.
This remarkable documentary is a collaborative effort between HBO Documentary Films, Sky, and Lightbox / Ripple. The talented team of producers includes Simon Chinn, Jonathan Chinn, Vanessa Davies, and Amy Stares. Daniel Radcliffe joins as an executive producer alongside David Holmes, Dan Hartley, Sue Latimer, and Sarah Spahovic. At HBO, executive producers include Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, and Tina Nguyen, while Sky’s executive producer is Poppy Dixon.
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 15th, at 9 p.m. ET, when “David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived” will make its debut on HBO. For those who prefer streaming, the documentary will also be available on HBO Max. It’s an opportunity to be inspired by the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring power of friendship.