‘John Wick’ Director Explains Why Latest Movies Didn’t Shoot Back-To-Back

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Photo via Lionsgate

The John Wick movies with Keanu Reeves have had comparatively tight turnaround times since the franchise began in 2014. After the third film in the series in 2019, it was announced two films were going to shoot back-to-back, but this did not come to pass. Now, director Chad Stahelski is revealing why, and, essentially, it comes down to not rushing and keeping creativity flowing.

The 53-year-old stuntman and film director reveals the choice in an article published by Comicbook.com today. He is speaking to the outlet about John Wick: Chapter 4 and its post-production process and says he and star Keanu Reeves did not want burnout.

“It seems in the other franchises that have tried it, they just feel like the same thing done again, right? Like there’s no new influence. Sometimes you need that creative breath to come up with fresh shit. Otherwise, I’m stressed out about making two movies instead of one really good one. I’m just not that bright. I’m not that clever. I’m not that good as a director to project my vision years into the future and do two great movies.”

Stahelski adds in the report making something great for him is moreso luck than skill and he does not want to rip off fans by hammering out everything quickly and thus missing out on something cool if things stay paced out. Essentially, the breaks are how what comes on screen is best.

“I’m f-cking lucky if I can pull off a great act, let alone two great movies. The film morphs and John Wicks are very organic because we’re location based. So, to plan out, you know, 10 locations over the course of two years, it’s tough. And I think that’s kind of a rip off to the fans too. Like you’re not getting me at my best. You get me when it’s 200 days in a production, we’re all hammered. The choreographers are putting out the same moves. You’re bored.”

The fourth film with John Wick is set to release in March 2023. The fifth film has not yet entered production.

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