After the success of the first three John Wick films, fans have been looking forward to John Wick: Chapter 4 and thankfully, it’s finally here. If you’ve watched it, however, you’ll more than likely have a few questions about what you just watched.
There are major spoilers for John Wick: Chapter 4 ahead.
If you’ve seen John Wick: Chapter 4, you already know that at the end of the film, John Wick dies after his fight with Caine (Donnie Yen) and Marquis Vincent de Gramont (Bill Skarsgård). Wick died at peace knowing vengeance had been achieved and is even buried next to his wife – so it did seem like a fitting – albeit somewhat surprising end.
Keanu Reeves spoke about the decision to end it in such a way while speaking with THR, saying:
“We had the opportunity [to do another film] because the audience [response to] Chapter Three, and we were like, ‘What was the Why?’ And when Chad and I was talking, the Why? was death — and it was John Wick’s death. For him to get his peace, or freedom, in a way…that was the reason to make the movie. It can’t just be, ‘Let’s do another one.’ It was really about death, or a way of dying. We were really inspired by the Hagakure….”
Director Chad Stahelski noted that Hagakure is a Japanese code of ethics and added:
“We kind of took the way of dying — or the way we live well to die well — as the theme.”
Stahelski also spoke about the end of the film, even suggesting that Lionsgate initially wasn’t on board with the idea:
“The response was, ‘What are you f*cking thinking?’ The note was, ‘Are you f*cking insane?’” Stahelski tells The Hollywood Reporter. “And Keanu and I just smiled and said, ‘Yeah.’ We decided we wanted to tie everything together, and we were like, ‘How do you give a proper goodbye?’ So that’s how we sold it to the studio because, at some point, this has gotta end, man.”
Stahelski also revealed that there was another ending – but test audiences didn’t care for it:
“There was a different way to do [the funeral scene], and we wanted it to be a little bit more mysterious. That’s why you see the puppy look up at the end [during the funeral scene]. So we did one test screening, and the audience revolted pretty hard about [the new ending shot during additional photography]. So we thought that we nailed it the first time, and to the studio’s credit, they didn’t even blink.”
While it may technically be the end of John Wick, it won’t be the last time we see Reeves play the character – as he is set to appear in Ballerina, a spin-off movie starring Ana De Armas that is set between the third and fourth John Wick films. There’s also a prequel TV series called The Continental, which will appear on Peacock at some point in the future. The post-credits scene in John Wick: Chapter 4 also hints at a potential showdown with Akira and Caine.
Be sure to stay tuned to ScreenGeek for additional updates regarding the ever expanding John Wick franchise as we have them.