10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Making of John Wick 4

From an homage to The Warriors and a furry sidekick with a huge bite, fans of John Wick 4 might not believe some of these behind-the-scenes facts.

John Wick with a closeup of a woman's lips and a microphone in the background

With its globe-trotting narrative, John Wick: Chapter 4 is a testament to the franchise’s evolution, rightly earning itself accolades as one of the best action films ever. Chapter 4 culminated Wick’s relentless journey, solidifying its importance as a cornerstone in one of Hollywood’s elite action franchises.

Delving into the creation of John Wick: Chapter 4 reveals a tapestry of secrets and revelations that even some of the franchise’s most ardent fans might not have known. Beyond the gripping action and heart-pounding thrills was a meticulous dedication to filmmaking and a healthy helping of creative ingenuity.

11 Chapter 4 Pays a Stealth Homage to “The Warriors”

John Wick in front of The Warriors logo

Laurence Fishburne, Donnie Yen, Natalia Tena, Bill Skarsgård and other amazing actors join Keanu Reeves in the cast of John Wick: Chapter 4.

10In a surprising nod to the cult classic film The WarriorsJohn Wick: Chapter 4 orchestrated a gripping action sequence that mirrored the tension and chaos of its cinematic predecessor. As Wick’s vendetta against the High Table escalated, a Parisian radio DJ broadcasted the increasing bounty on Wick’s head in a scene utterly reminiscent of The Warrior’s mysterious DJ, who ushered in chaos with a similar method.

The parallels between the two scenes are striking, from the DJ’s intimate close-up of her mouth to the use of colloquialisms such as “Boppers” to describe her listening audience. The choice of soundtrack, including the iconic “Nowhere to Run,” further solidified this homage as Wick battled his way through a wave of assassins, echoing the relentless pursuit of the Warriors fighting their way from the Bronx to Coney Island.

9 Mr. Nobody’s Furry Sidekick Packed A Serious Bite

Mr. Nobody and his dog sitting down in John Wick: Chapter 4.

In John Wick: Chapter 4, the tradition of canine companionship continues with the introduction of Mr. Nobody and his faithful accomplice, a Belgian Malinois. For a franchise that has become synonymous with dogs, Mr. Nodbody’s best friend brought a new dimension to the “dynamic duo” trope. Behind the scenes, however, working with this furry actor presented a serious challenge.

Director Chad Stahelski revealed one unexpected quirk of their lead dog, Britta, who had a penchant for targeting one very sensitive and specific area during fight scenes: the crotch. He told The Ringer, “We had all these other gags planned, and she’s like, ‘Nope. Right for the crotch.’ We’re like, ‘OK, I guess that’s our character; we’re doing crotch biting.'”

8 Chad Stahelski’s Love for Jackie Chan Encouraged Him to Embrace Mistakes

John Wick fights a Table soldier in John Wick 4

John Wick director Chad Stahelski reveals the two blockbuster franchises he wouldn’t mind taking a crack at should an offer come his way.

During the making of John Wick: Chapter 4, mistakes weren’t just tolerated; they were embraced as an integral component of the filmmaking process. Director Chad Stahelski is a big believer in the philosophy that serendipitous moments on set add an authentic layer to the final product, an ethos he adopted from martial arts legend Jackie Chan.

For Stahelski, the essence of a great film lies in embracing the unexpected. For example, when Keanu Reeves took on the challenge of mastering Nunchucks for a Chapter 4 action scene, it wasn’t about capturing flawless choreography. Instead, Reeves’s dedication to his training led to an improvised attack infused with spontaneity, and these unscripted moments contributed to the film’s signature blend of precision and unpredictability.

7 Keanu Reeves Took a Minimalist Approach to His Dialogue

Keanu Reeves as John Wick holding a gun, face scratched

Keanu Reeves’s portrayal of John Wick is marked by a deliberate brevity in dialogue, which helps demonstrate the character’s stoic demeanor. Reeves’s dedication to distilling Wick’s lines to their bare essentials added depth, allowing his actions to speak volumes.

Regarding Keanu Reeve’s process, the actor opted to strip away nearly half of Wick’s original dialogue from the script. By embracing silence as a powerful tool, Keanu crafted a powerful version of Wick that is as enigmatic as it is compelling, further solidifying Reeves’s status as a master of understated performance.

6 Berlin Stood In For Paris

John Wick in front of the Eiffel Tower in Chapter 4.

In a heart-pounding sequence culminating at the iconic Arc de Triomphe, John Wick: Chapter 4 delivered a spectacle of vehicular mayhem and close-quarters combat. However, the logistical challenges involved in shutting down lanes around the famed monument posed a formidable obstacle for the production team. So, the filmmakers turned to an unexpected location to overcome this hurdle: Berlin.

While digital effects enhanced the backdrop, the bone-crunching collisions between man and machine were real. After being decommissioned in 2021, Berlin’s Tegel Airport tarmac provided the perfect location for the wirework and gunfights central to the sequence to be shot without risking the safety of the stunt performers and shutting down one of the busiest intersections in one of the world’s most infamous cities.

5It Took Keanu Reeves Months to Learn Car-Fu

Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 4Keanu Reeves looking surprised as John Wick in John Wick: Chapter 4John Wick in a suit and tie standing in the rain
Keanu Reeves looks at something during scene in John Wick: Chapter 4

To execute the high-speed maneuvers amidst the chaos of the Arc de Triomphe scene in John Wick: Chapter 4, Keanu Reeves undertook his most formidable challenge yet: mastering the art of “car-fu.”

Unlike the instantaneous learning depicted in The Matrix, Keanu devoted nine intensive months of training to hone his driving skills to perfection. Under the guidance of stunt coordinator Scott Rogers, Reeves pushed himself to the limit, perfecting drifts and reloads while maintaining precise control over the vehicle, solidifying his status as a master of action both on and off-screen.

4 Keanu Reeves Performed Most of the Stairwell Fight Scene

The John Wick franchise delves into the world of attractions thanks to a new partnership led by Lionsgate that encourages fan engagement.

The intensity of the action scenes in John Wick: Chapter 4 reached new heights in the gripping Paris stairwell fight. Despite the danger, Reeves immersed himself in the intricacies of the scene’s fight choreography, executing many of Wick’s precise movements to capture the raw energy of the hero’s struggle over seven grueling shooting nights.

While stuntman Vincent Bouillon performed the sequence’s climactic perilous descent down the steps, Reeves insisted on performing practically every other beat himself to ensure continuity and authenticity. At the end of the film’s production period, Reeves thanked the many stunt performers who worked on the movie by gifting them personalized T-shirts detailing how many on-screen deaths each performer was a part of, alongside Rolex Submariner watches for his core stunt team.

3 Keanu Reeves Was Adamant John Wick Die in Chapter 4

The Poster for chapter 4 featuring a bloodied John Wick

As discussions for Chapter 4 unfolded between director Chad Stahelski and Keanu Reeves, the actor boldly proclaimed: “John Wick’s got to die.” Reeves’s insistence on his iconic character’s demise led to deliberation on how Wick’s journey would ultimately culminate with thematic significance.

Central to Reeve’s vision was the idea of redemption for Wick, a character constantly confronted with a web of consequences for his past actions. In the dramatic finale that unfolded at the steps of the Sacré-Coeur, Wick finally succumbed to his injuries, finding a sense of peace after years of turmoil in his decision to prioritize the safety of his friend’s daughter over his well-being. Reeve’s commitment to Wick’s ultimate fate underscored the emotional depth that defined Chapter 4, leaving audiences with closure.

2 Studio Concerns Led to an Alternate Ending For John Wick: Chapter 4

Keanu Reeves in a suit holding a gun in John Wick Chapter 4

The first John Wick spinoff, Ballerina, has been delayed again and an original franchise star detailed why.

To the surprise of no one, as production on John Wick: Chapter 4 progressed, the film’s studio, Lionsgate, began to get cold feet regarding killing off one of their most giant cash cows. The studio went so far as to express reservations over the hero’s demise, which prompted the production of an alternate ending.

To appease the studio, Stahelski and the film’s screenwriters explored different avenues to end the movie, including an alternate ending that left John Wick’s fate far less ambiguous. However, when shown this ending, test audiences were vehemently against it, leading to the reinsertion of the film’s initially conceived conclusion that seemingly closed the book on John Wick’s life by featuring his tombstone alongside his wife’s.

1 The John Wick Saga Will Likely Continue

The Bowery King, John Wick and Winston in a tunnel in John Wick: Chapter 4.Image from John Wick spin-off The Continental.Ana de Armas stars in the upcoming John Wick spinoff Ballerina.Keanu Reeves in John Wick Chapter 4

Despite Keanu Reeves’s original intentions and the seemingly definitive end to John Wick’s journey at the end of Chapter 4, all signs point to the character’s return in subsequent entries. As the franchise has expanded with the release of The Continental and the upcoming Ballerina, John Wick’s universe is set to explode.

Moreover, Reeves’s hesitance to continue with the role has fallen by the wayside. While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Keanu revealed that he would be willing to return for John Wick: Chapter 5 under the condition that director Chad Stahelski was still involved. Since then, Lionsgate has suggested that Chapter 5 is in development, but an official announcement has yet to be made, so audiences will have to wait a little longer to witness the evolution of the legendary Baba Yaga.

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