John Wick: Chapter 4 – Keanu Reeves Wanted To Be Killed Off


Posted in: Lionsgate, Movies, TV | Tagged: John Wick: Chapter 4, keanu reeves, liongate, peacock, the continental

John Wick: Chapter 4 star Keanu Reeves wanted to be killed off at the end of the film so they left only left a small sliver of hope that the character could come back.

John Wick: Chapter 4 gave the character what he’d been fighting to accomplish since the moments after his first puppy died in the first film: peace and closure. It was bittersweet because we wanted to see this character we had grown so attached to over four movies get closure and then find a way to live on, but we all knew that there wasn’t a happy ending for John Wick. He had his happy ending already, and everything after Helen was just a bloody epilogue to the end. It seemed like a natural conclusion, and if there hadn’t been rumblings of a fifth film before the fourth came out, it would have felt perfect, but there was, and people were a little confused. Was John really dead? It seems that star Keanu Reeves was ready for John to finally rest, according to franchise producer Basil Iwanyk in an interview with Collider promoting the new spin-off television show, The Continental.

“After the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th movie, making these films is so exhausting, and it destroys Keanu, physically and emotionally,” explained Iwanyk. “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. He was like, ‘I wanna be definitively killed at the end of this movie.’ We were like, ‘You know, we’ll leave a 10% little opening.'”

Keanu Reeves as John Wick in John Wick 4. © 2023 Lionsgate; Photo Credit: Murray Close

That makes sense because everything we have heard about Reeves says he is one of Hollywood’s hardest-working and generous people. These movies look brutal on someone who isn’t trying to do the most, and we all know Reeves does try to do the most [not to the extreme of Tom Cruise], and these movies look like they are a beating. Just thinking about that scene with the stairs in John Wick: Chapter 4, even if we know that wasn’t Reeves, is enough to make you wince. Reeves isn’t the only one who has said that they are ready to move on from the franchise, with director Chad Stahelski voicing that he, too, is ready for something else. Iwanyk compared the three of them, Reeves, himself, and Stahelski, to The Beetles in the sense that doing another film would like “get[ting] the band back together” and “the way I describe it is that they’re like Paul McCartney and John Lennon, and I’m Ringo. They’ll call me and let me know, ‘All right, we’re showing up. Here’s where you show up, and here’s what our story is.'” If you thought the ending to John Wick: Chapter 4  was perfect and this character deserves the rest he is given, Iwanyk assured everyone that if they can’t figure it out, they aren’t going to force it.

“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,” Iwanyk explained. “It’s gonna 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 gonna try to just jam it for the sake of jamming it.”

The John Wick universe didn’t end with the character, with The Continental premiering in just a few days, and the spin-off film Ballerina is just around the corner. Maybe we don’t need Chapter 5 to keep exploring this world, and the real test will be the upcoming show and spin-off. Maybe John Wick [and Reeves] can finally rest easy if they both work.

John Wick: Chapter 4: Summary, Cast List, Release Date

John Wick (Keanu Reeves) uncovers a path to defeating The High Table. But before he can earn his freedom, Wick must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe and forces that turn old friends into foes. John Wick: Chapter 4 stars Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, Lance Reddick, Rina Sawayama, Scott Adkins, and Ian McShane. It is directed by Chad Stahelski, written by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch, and based on characters by Derek Kolstad. Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, and Chad Stahelski are producing, and Keanu Reeves, Louise Rosner, David Leitch, and Michael Paseornek are executive producing. It was released on March 24, 2023.

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