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Keanu Reeves & Chad Stahelski on Why ‘John Wick 4’ Had to Be Made

[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for John Wick: Chapter 4]Even though movies like John Wick: Chapter 4 may seem like brainless action flicks that the studio just wants to put out with no regard for story, we often ignore that there is a thought process behind it and screenwriters and directors look at a potential sequel from our perspective. During an exclusive interview with Collider, Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski broke down their creative process and revealed how they ultimately got to the “why” of the new installment having to be made.


During the interview, Reeves and Stahelski told our own Editor-in-Chief Steve Weintraub that they usually start throwing ideas around in Japan—which became a meaningful location for the fourth installment. They do that because usually, movies open a little later in the country, and when they do press tours there, they already know how the movie fared in the American territory and if the studio intends to greenlight a sequel. Reeves explained:

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“[W]e just make shit up. We usually come out of Japan with at least one or two ideas. […] Yeah, so for this one, the idea was– you know, because we have to come up with a ‘why,’ right? What’s the ‘why,’ why make it? And, after Chapter 1, well, just after ‘John Wick,’ it was like, the why? Well, he’s on the run, but even before on the run, maybe let’s open up the world. And it was like the marker and all of the friendships […] And then Chapter 4 was, ‘Why make it?’ And it was like, ‘OK, he has to die.’ That would seem like the only reason to make it, you know what I mean? Like, it’s impossible. He can’t survive the High Table.”

john-wick-4 keanu reeves
Image via Lionsgate

RELATED: How Does ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ Set Up Ana de Armas’ ‘Ballerina’ Spinoff?


Ballerinas, Hotels, and the Future of John Wick

It’s true. Even though John Wick wins his duel against High Table member Marquis (Bill Skarsgard), the injuries sustained in the duel end up taking the best of him. So John Wick: Chapter 4 elevated all stakes and consequences of the game, which is exactly what fans expect from a good franchise. Of course, that brings on the question of where the franchise can go without its title character if Lionsgate decides to greenlight John Wick 5. We’ll have to wait until Stahelski and Reeves go to Japan to see what happens.

Not that the franchise is anywhere close to coming to an end. We’ll soon discover more information about Ballerina, the spin-off movie led by Ana de Armas which also features Keanu Reeves’ participation. Also, the prequel series The Continental is in development, and it will certainly expand the mythology of the John Wick universe, so fans have nothing to complain about and a lot to look forward to in the coming years.

John Wick: Chapter 4 is in theaters everywhere. You can watch our interview with Shamier Anderson and Hiroyuki Sanada in which they talk about fight sequences and dogs below:

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