The Big Picture
- Keanu Reeves wanted his character to be definitively killed off in John Wick: Chapter 4.
- Despite their fatigue, Reeves and director Chad Stahelski are eager to continue the franchise and are reportedly brainstorming the next story.
- The producers and filmmakers have a strong bond and are committed to creating a worthy next installment of the John Wick series.
John Wick: Chapter 4 felt like an ending for the titular assassin. On the steps of the Sacre Coeur in Paris, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) took what appeared to be his final breath, having beaten the High Table at long last. And that was just how Reeves wanted it, according to franchise producer Basil Iwanyk.
Reeves feels fatigued at the best of times after these films, with his dedication to stuntwork and his performance evident for all to see. By the stage of getting Chapter 4 into production, the man had hit breaking point, and Iwanyk confessed that Reeves was begging for Wick to be “definitively” killed off at the end of the film so that he could finally rest. But it’s the movies, and John Wick is a legend, so they settled for 90%, as Iwanyk explained to Collider’s Christina Radish, while on the promotional trail for the upcoming Wick spin-off, The Continental.
“After the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th movie, making these films is so exhausting and it destroys Keanu, physically and emotionally,” explained Iwanyk. “By the end, he’s always like, ‘I can’t do this again,’ and we agree with him. The guy is just a shell of himself because he just goes off and goes for it. He was like, ‘I wanna be definitively killed at the end of this movie.’ We were like, ‘You know, we’ll leave a 10% little opening.'”
John, Paul, and Ringo
Iwaynk went on to explain that the close bond the producers and the filmmakers had forged over the years in making the franchise meant that, as much as one party may need a break from the action, they were all reluctant to do so, for fear of missing out on the next installment. Comparing Stahelski and Reeves to The Beatles, Iwanyk said he was content to sit and wait until that next flash of inspiration hits the creative duo and then they can get back to work.
“We’ve all become such good friends and we all like each other so much and we’re all so tickled by the success of these movies, critically and commercially that we all think to ourselves, ‘Okay, how do we get the band back together, in a way that merits a good story in the next evolution of John.’ At this point, it’s Keanu and Chad [Stahelski] getting together to figure out what that story is. The way I describe it is that they’re like Paul McCartney and John Lennon, and I’m Ringo. They’ll call me and let me know, ‘All right, we’re showing up. Here’s where you show up, and here’s what our story is.'”
Admitting that he doesn’t want to say goodbye to Wick just yet, Iwanyk stated that he was content to wait it out until the dynamic duo were ready again, and when they are, it’s full steam ahead. If they can’t come up with another reason? Everyone can rest happy knowing what they accomplished.
“We Want Another Wick”
“We all want another John Wick. We don’t know what it looks like and when it will happen, but we love each other and we love this world,” he continued. “It’s gonna be all hands to try to figure it out. Have we figured it out? No. And if we can’t figure it out, will there be one? No, of course not. No one is gonna try to just jam it for the sake of jamming it.”
The Continental premieres on Peacock on September 22.