The director of the John Wick franchise, Chad Stahelski, explains how the franchise’s creative process starts with one basic idea: to make Keanu Reeves’ protagonist suffer. Stahelski began his career as a stunt double for Brandon Lee on the set of The Crow and has since directed all three instalments of the franchise, creating modern action classics along the way. Each picture has outperformed the previous, with John Wick 3: Parabellum bringing in the most money at the box office and receiving the same critical acclaim as the others.
The franchise is known for its sophisticated, amazing action sequences, which have only gotten more spectacular over the years. John Wick, played by Reeves, frequently faces unfathomable odds against a variety of foes, all of whom he routinely dispatches with brutal flamboyance, with the star frequently bringing his own ideas to Stahelski’s veteran thoughts. He doesn’t always come out of these encounters unscathed, and part of the allure of the series is how it isn’t afraid to injure its protagonist.
Footage from John Wick 4 reveals his greatest action skill.
This is all part of the strategy for Stahelski and Reeves. The director and performer spoke with THR on the red carpet at CinemaCon about how the action sequences begin with the intention of making John Wick suffer. It’s all about finding new, creative ways to inflict agony for Stahelski, which includes the usage of nunchucks in the next John Wick: Chapter 4, albeit neither the star nor the director were sure on who came up with the idea. Here are some of Stahelski’s thoughts:
Their action strategy continues to pay off in film after picture, and while many franchises become stale as time passes, the John Wick film franchise appears to be on the rise. While the first film wowed moviegoers with its violent house invasion scenario and spectacular Red Circle nightclub battle, John Wick: Chapter 2 upped the ante by introducing Common’s Cassian, who beat the crap out of Wick before being stabbed in the aorta.The best example of Stahelski and Reeves’ approach, however, can be found in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, in which Wick is chased into an antique arms shop by a gang of assassins and is smashed through a series of glass cases while dodging a barrage of projectiles, all before dispatching his foes in trademark style.
The high degree of expectation for John Wick: Chapter Four is justified, given that the first three John Wick films had such vicious and unforgettable battles. This is aided by the fantastic cliffhanger at the end of the previous film. Wick’s alliance with the Bowery King against the High Table is sure to generate some of the franchise’s best action moments, and Stahelski and Reeves are anticipated to go all out when the film hits theatres in May of next year.