John Wick: Chapter 4’s story was motivated by Reeves and Stahelski’s disappointment of Chapter 3’s ending

The ending of Chapter 3 was too inconclusive for the filmmaker and star, so they aimed harder for their target in Chapter 4.

Regardless of the interpretation of the ending of John Wick: Chapter 4, the film serves as a fitting ending for the contract killer and his quest for peace. While movie franchises tend to make an initial run as a trilogy, as the three-movie structure perfectly encapsulates the beginning, middle and end of a story arc, back when John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum was released, it surprisingly sported a cliffhanger ending that seemingly set up for a finale. Parabellum would feature an end sequence at the iconic series location of The Continental, which naturally felt like the perfect thematic location for a finale, but the ultimate conclusion was not satisfying for star Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski.

According to ScreenRant, Reeves and Stahelski were so dissatisfied with the ending that they were motivated to finish it conclusively with Chapter 4. Stahelski explained in Empire, “We didn’t feel like we had done our best. We both felt like we could have ended the series better. We didn’t feel like we stuck the landing, and that’s a s****y feeling. Because we love the character, we love working together, we love the world. I said, ‘I’d be p***ed if that’s how they ended the whole series. I’d be p***ed at the director.’ And I had just read this treatise on samurai etiquette called Hagakure, the art of the way of dying. And we’re like, ‘Yeah, he’s got to die. And we got to come up with the coolest way to make that happen. We’ve got to make it all about, ‘you can only [have] a good death if you had a good life’.’ That’s the first line we wrote on a napkin in Japan, three years out. We wrote the movie backwards off that one thing.”

Of course, John Wick: Chapter 4 finally let the character rest, but after a screening with a more obvious ending, the test audience persuaded the filmmakers to leave it more ambiguous. And now that the John Wick movies have become a billion-dollar franchise, the film’s studio Lionsgate is begging for more with Keanu in tow. Reeves, as of now, has one more appearance coming up for the character, as Baba Yaga will also make a cameo in the spin-off, Ballerina, which stars Ana De Armas.

Stahelski and Reeves obviously love the character, and although Stahelski listed off names of actors he’d love to work with on a follow-up, the only real plans he has going forward is an extended director’s cut of Chapter 4 that is being planned for a release.

Source: ScreenRant, Empire

About the Author

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.