[Editor’s Note: The following story contains spoilers for “John Wick: Chapter 4.”]
Keanu Reeves was ready to lay down arms after playing retired assassin John Wick over four films.
According to “John Wick: Chapter 4” franchise producer Basil Iwanyk, actor Reeves asked to “definitively” be killed off in the latest movie, which ends with a shot of his gravestone. Reeves also famously does most of his own stunts for the films.
“After the second, third, and fourth movie, making these films is so exhausting and it destroys Keanu, physically and emotionally,” Iwanyk told Collider. “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.”
Iwanyk continued, “He was like, ‘I want to be definitively killed at the end of this movie.’ We were like, ‘You know, we’ll leave a 10 percent little opening.’”
While the “John Wick” universe is expanding with the spinoff film “The Ballerina” and prequel series “The Continental,” Iwanyk teased a possible other “John Wick” proper feature on the horizon.
“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 said. “It’s going to 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 going to try to just jam it for the sake of jamming it.”
Iwanyk added, “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, ‘OK, 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 [director] 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 [Starr]. They’ll call me and let me know, ‘Alright, we’re showing up. Here’s where you show up, and here’s what our story is.’”
Director Stahelski told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year that a fifth “John Wick” film hinges on actor Reeves’ interest in reprising the role.
“It’s very flattering for them to come back and, you know, say ‘We want more’ and it’s not just a cash grab. It’s legitimately the audience wants more,” Stahelski said. “I think we all need that little bit of time to go, ‘Whew. Let’s see what’s next.’ … If Keanu and I, a few months from now sit down at a whiskey bar in Japan again and go, ‘Yep, we’ll never do another one of those,’ and then all of a sudden go, ‘Yeah, but I got an idea,’ we’re open to it.”
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