Keаnu Reeves Pitсһed A Muсһ Eаrlier (& More Violent) Joһn Wiсk Deаtһ Before Cһаpter 4, Reveаls Produсer

Exclusive: Producer Basil Iwanyk reveals that Keanu Reeves originally pitched John Wick’s death much earlier than Chapter 4 and much more violently.

Keanu Reeves John Wick Chapter 4 Death exclusive header


  • Keanu Reeves pitched a more violent death for John Wick’s character, but the idea was shut down by the producer.
  • John Wick’s death in Chapter 4 was the right call after the physical hardships he endured throughout the franchise.
  • Despite a potential John Wick 5, the director and star remain committed to the emotional ending of Chapter 4 and are unsure of a meaningful path forward for the character.

With audiences still reeling from the demise of the character, John Wick: Chapter 4 producer Basil Iwanyk reveals Keanu Reeves pitched his character’s death much earlier and much more violent. The latest chapter in the action genre franchise pit Wick against the power-hungry Marquis de Gramont, resulting in a dramatic final duel between John and the Marquis’ nominee, Donnie Yen’s Caine. After being shot multiple times, the Marquis attempts to take the coup de grâce shot, only for John to reveal having never taken his last shot and thus using it on the Marquis. Finally victorious, John seemingly dies on the steps of the Sacré-Cœur, buried next to his wife by Winston afterward.

During an exclusive interview with Screen Rant for the movie’s Oscars campaign, Basil Iwanyk opened up about being approached with the idea of John Wick: Chapter 4 featuring Reeves’ death. The producer humorously revealed that Reeves and director Chad Stahelski have been pitching it since Chapter 2, with the star even having a much more violent death in mind for the iconic character, only for Iwanyk to swiftly shut the idea down. See what Iwanyk shared below:

I mean, they came to us on two, three, and four. So these movies are, it beats the crap out of Keanu, right? Physically. In ways that I don’t think people can ever understand because it’s not just a shoot. He’s training three, four, five months before. And in every part of it, it’s a little bit of the Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon, like, “I’m getting too old for this s–t.” And on every movie he’s like, “This is when I die. I’m done.” We always shoot options. We shoot one that he’s completely alive, one that is a little vague, and one that he’s dead. You know what I mean? And I remember, I think it was on John Wick 2, he was like, “Here’s what happens. They cut my head off. They cut my head off.” And I’m just like, “There’s no chance you’re getting your head cut off.” [Laughs]

Why John Wick’s Chapter 4 Death Was The Right Call

Having taken down scores of foes across the first three chapters, as well as in the franchise-long Chapter 4, Reeves’ John Wick had endured nearly as much physical hardship as any of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator while also going far and above the likes of Bruce Willis’ John McClane or Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne. As such, one might find themselves agreeing with Reeves to give Wick an egregiously violent death in order to put the character down. This almost seemed necessary to kill him after he was shot and fell off a skyscraper in the John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum cliffhanger ending.

Ultimately, though, Stahelski and writers Shay Hatten and Michael Finch made the right call with their approach to potentially killing John Wick in Chapter 4. Rather than meeting his end from a nameless thug who got the drop on him, or a villain successfully putting a stop to Wick’s rampage, it instead came in the form of an emotional battle of wits between John and the Marquis. Knowing his friend Caine and his daughter would be in danger if he lived, or if they threw the duel, Wick subtly found a way to ensure that he would not only come out victorious in killing the Marquis, but also sacrifice himself accordingly to save the ones he cares about.

While Lionsgate may be keen to push ahead with a John Wick 5, Stahelski and Reeves have been far more tempered in their desire to bring the character back after John Wick: Chapter 4‘s emotional ending. Though not entirely impossible to accomplish without undoing their previous work, with everything from prequels to spinoffs at least keeping the door open for Reeves to return in some other capacity, the director and star have stood their ground that unless they can figure out a meaningful path forward for the character without undoing his seeming demise, Chapter 4 is indeed the end for John.

Iwanyk has also confirmed to Screen Rant that “we don’t know what” a John Wick 5 would be yet, but is confident the movie will be made at some point in the future and be “a completely other book” in Wick’s life.

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