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John Wick Killed Very Few People In The Original Script, Director Confirms

Director Chad Stahelski said that he massively ramped up the body count after he came on board.


The John Wick film series is famous for, among other things, a tremendous body count--John alone kills 77 people in the first movie, getting revenge for the death of his dog and then some. But this wasn't always the case--the movie almost featured much fewer deaths.

Talking to GameSpot sister site, John Wick trilogy director Chad Stahelski has revealed that the first draft of the script contained only three deaths, although that likely doesn't include Wick's puppy. Stahelski says that star Keanu Reeves sent him the script on a Friday, and he took the weekend to read and think about it. "It was much more contained," he recalls. "I think only three people died in the original script, two were in a car crash. It was very, very minimal, and it was slightly different."

However, Stahelski had a different idea, and wanted to make a movie that resembled a piece of Greek mythology: "a surreal action movie so it wasn't so grounded and gray, just something different."

The movie changed a great deal once he came on board, and the sequels feature even more kills. However, Stahelski says that they don't set targets for these things. "The way I choreograph with my guys and stuff, we just choreograph motion and set pieces and we try to get this balletic kind of dance, live performance feel to everything," he says. Because Keanu Reeves has "gotten so much better with the choreography," it's been necessary to bring in more stunt people for him to kill to show off his moves.

John Wick Chapter 4 will release in May 2022 following a COVID-19 delay. It also won't be the final film in the series.

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