How John Wick’s Director Helped Get Netflix’s Jamie Foxx Movie Day Shift Made

Jamie Foxx and Snoop Dogg in Day Shift.
(Image credit: Netflix)

A friend in a high place. Sometimes, that’s all you need in order to catch that proverbial break and get your movie made in Hollywood. This is kind of what happened for Day Shift director J.J. Perry, a martial artist and longtime stunt professional who has an action-packed vampire movie streaming on Netflix, ready for you to enjoy. The picture stars Jamie Foxx and Dave Franco as unlikely partners working their way through a warped reality where vampire teeth are extremely valuable on the black market. And the movie is generating conversation for its use of actual contortionists in its action set pieces. This is what attracted John Wick director Chad Stahelski to the concept, and get the movie greenlit.

J.J. Perry has been active in the moviemaking community for decades, having worked on films such as Avatar, Iron Man, the Fast & Furious franchise, and Ben Affleck’s Oscar-winning Argo. When he talks about stunt work, he traces it back to the artistic endeavors of Buster Keaton and Jackie Chan, pioneers that set the standard that current creators like Perry and Chad Stahelski adhere to to this day. His collaborations with Stahelski apparently opened the right doors for Perry, because during an interview with Polygon, Perry admitted:

Once we got the script going where we liked it I used that pre-viz to help me get the movie greenlit. We took [the script] to [John Wick series helmer] Chad [Stahelski], got him excited. He walked right into Netflix and got it greenlit and bubba, here we are!

I’m certain there are a lot of hopeful filmmakers out there reading this and thinking, “Where is my Chad Stahelski?!” Because yes, it does help to have a proven filmmaker in your corner when you are trying to get a production mounted and a film released. But in J.J. Perry’s defense, the guy brings the goods. Our review of the film might not have been the most favorable. But other critics spoke highly of the action and fight choreography, as well as the creative ways that Perry used drones to move his cameras around the wild scenes that are baked into this unusual plot.

I wish that we knew how movies are doing on Netflix. We only really hear about results when something like The Grey Man with Chris Evan and Ryan Gosling does well enough to automatically greenlight a sequel and even tease a possible spinoff movie project. For now, though, because streaming numbers are kept under wraps, we have to reply on word of mouth to find interesting projects, or listen to Jamie Foxx when he shouts out praise for movies like Day Shift

Keep an eye on all of Netflix’s streaming options by subscribing to the service, and look for Chad Stahelski’s John Wick Chapter 4 when it reaches theaters in 2023.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.