(written from a Production point of view)
Michael "Mike" Gunther (born 1972) is a stuntman, stunt coordinator, director, and film maker who performed stunts as stunt double for actor Chris Pine in 2009's Star Trek. He finished working on the film in Los Angeles on 19 January 2008. Gunther also worked as stunt performer on the 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness.
Stunt career Edit
Gunther's first experiences in the stunt business includes stunt work in the television series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (starring Joe Lando), Babylon 5 (1994, alongside Andreas Katsulas, Richard Chaves, and Gary Wayton), and High Tide. He performed stunts in the action sequel Beverly Hills Cop III (1994), doubled Ralph Fiennes in the science fiction thriller Strange Days (1995), and Linden Ashby in the short lived action series Spy Game, which features Keith Szarabajka, Denise Crosby, and stuntmen Brian Avery and Edward Conna.
Gunther also performed stunts in the television series V.I.P., Martial Law (1998-1999, co-starring Tom Wright), and Roswell (starring William Sadler), and served as stunt coordinator on Executive Power (1997, with Joanna Cassidy, Denise Crosby, and Michael Horton), several episodes of The King of Queens, The Pretender, and as wire stunt coordinator on Charmed (2001).
Other television projects including Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1998-2001), J.J. Abrams' Alias, 24, Firefly, Angel (1999-2003, also as stunt coordinator), CSI: New York, Threshold (starring Brent Spiner), and Bones (2005-2014). Among his feature film credits are the comedy sequels Scary Movie 2 (2001, with Woody Bosco, Drew Renkewitz, Suzanne Bianqui, Mark Barrett, LaFaye Baker, Tim Rigby, Bridgett Riley, Chris Palermo, Antony Acker, Craig Shugart, and Geneviere Anderson) and American Pie 2 (2001), the science fiction sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (both 2003, with Anthony Zerbe), the comic adaptation Hulk (2003), the fantasy films Underworld (2003, with Kevin Grevioux and Scott McElroy) and Van Helsing (2004), the comic adaptations Spider-Man 2 and Catwoman (both 2004), as stunt double for Scott Speedman and fight choreographer in the sequel Underworld: Evolution (2006), and the action thriller Gridiron Gang (2006, with The Rock).
He coordinated for the television series Jericho (2007, with Alicia Coppola), the drama series Brothers and Sisters (2007), the adventure series Fallen (2007, with Rick Worthy), and the sequel Live Free or Die Hard (2007, with Tim Russ). Gunther performed stunts in the thriller Disturbia (2007), the Heroes episode ".07%" (2007, with Zachary Quinto, Cristine Rose, Malcolm McDowell, stunts by Gary Wayton, and coordinated by Ian Quinn), and the television drama Skip Tracer (2008, starring Diedrich Bader).
Gunther is also a skilled motion capture stunt performer for video games, including Max Steel and The Bounty Hunter and worked on several commercials for Coca Cola, Foot Locker, Absolute Vodka, McDonald's, Nike, Reebok, UPS, and Volkswagen. He also performed stunts in music videos for artists such as Methods of Mayhem and Linkin' Park.
Gunther worked as stunt double for Keanu Reeves in the thriller The Night Watchman (2008), performed stunts in the drama Days of Wrath (2008, with Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and was the stunt coordinator for the action film Fighting (2008). He performed stunts in the Stargate: Atlantis episode "Enemy at the Gate" (2009, with Robert Picardo, Paul McGillion, and Lauro Chartrand), served as stunt coordinator on the action film Fast & Furious (2009, with stunts by Gregory J. Barnett, Craig Baxley, Jr., Edward Conna, Zach Duhame, Diana R. Lupo, Heidi Moneymaker, Lin Oeding, Tim Trella, and Chrissy Weathersby), and worked as stunt coordinator on three episodes of Joss Whedon's fantasy series Dollhouse (2009, with stunts by Gary J. Wayton). His work on Fast & Furious earned him a Taurus World Stunt Award in the category Best Stunt Coordinator and/or 2nd Unit Director: Feature Film in 2010.
Further stunt work includes episodes of Grey's Anatomy (2009), Lie to Me (2009, with Jimmy N. Roberts), Criminal Minds (2009), Cold Case (2009, with Jennifer Caputo), Castle (2010, with Shauna Duggins and coordinated by Dennis Madalone), and The Event (2010, wrking with Charlie Brewer, Tony Donno, Dana Dru Evenson, Henry Kingi, Jr., Manny Perry, and Boni Yanagisawa), the thriller Angels & Demons (2009), the video game adaptation The Book of Eli (2010), the sequel Iron Man 2 (2010), and the crime thriller Takers (2010).
As stunt coordinator Gunther worked on the sport drama Fighting (2009, along with fellow stunt coordinator Mic Rodgers), the short horror film Road to Moloch (2009, with stunts by Troy Brenna and Gary J. Wayton), the television series Zeke and Luther (2009-2010), Community (2009-2011), and The Nine Lives of Chloe King (2011, starring Amy Pietz and with Alicia Coppola and Samantha Eggar), the fantasy horror film Priest (2011, with Karl Urban, Brad Dourif, and Christopher Plummer), and the action sequel Fast Five (2011, starring Dwayne Johnson and directed by Justin Lin). The latter one earned him three Taurus World Stunt Awards in 2012 in the categories Best Stunt Coordinator and/or 2nd Unit Director: Feature, shared with Spiro Razatos, Best Fight and Best High Work.
Gunther performed stunts in the comic adaptation The Avengers (2012, starring Chris Hemsworth) and in the television series Banshee (2013-2014). More recent projects as stunt coordinator include the science fiction film R.I.P.D. (2013), the science fiction sequel Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), the pilot episode of Scorpion (2014, directed by Justin Lin, produced by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and April Nocifora, and music by Brian Tyler), the horror film Ouija (2014, with stunts by Mark Aaron Wagner and Ray Siegle), the comedy Entourage (2015, with stunts by Rex Reddick, Mike Mukatis, Katie Eischen, and Tim Connolly), the horror comedy Scouts vs. Zombies (2015), and the action comedy Hollywood Adventures (2015, with Bridgett Riley, Lorin McCraley, Thomas DuPont, and Josh Drennen).
Film companies Edit
In 2005 Gunther founded the production company "Gunny Entertainment" alongside his long time production partner Mike Behrman. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and Writers Guild of America (WGA). He wrote, produced, and directed the special features Underworld Evolution: Inside the Action (2006), Ghost Rider: Inside the Action (2007) and Live Free or Die Hard: Inside the Action (2007). Further projects as director, writer, and producer with Gunny Entertainment include the short action film 6th and Santa Fe (2008, starring Theo Kypri and co-produced by Marcus Young), the action thriller Beatdown (2010, with Jace Jeanes and stunt coordination by Marcus Young), and the crime drama Setup (2011, with Jay Karnes, Theo Kypri, Chris Torres, and Marty Murray).
In 2010, Gunther left Gunny Entertainment and formed "5150 Action", a company with creates high-impact and visually arresting action. Gunther continued to work as producer on the television series Dr0ne (2012, with Hiram A. Murray and stunts by Martin De Boer) and on the crime thriller End of Watch (2012) on which he also worked as stunt coordinator.
More recently, Gunther worked as writer, director and producer on the television series Runner (2013, starring Martin De Boer and executive produced by Justin Lin) and the following film adaptation Runner (2016) and as director and producer on the upcoming drama Smash (2016).