Chad Stahelski has detailed the original ending to John Wick: Chapter 4.
While speaking to Empire magazine, the director revealed he originally shot a more obvious ending to the 2023 film but both he, his star Keanu Reeves, and test audiences preferred the ambiguous one.
“We had a different ending,” Stahelski told the outlet. “(The theatrical ending) was the ending Keanu and I wanted, but we shot a different ending. We shot an ending where you actually saw John Wick at the end of the movie. So it was very clear that he was still alive. The audiences we tested with absolutely preferred the ambiguous ending.”
In the final version of the action movie, Reeves’ assassin John competed in a duel to free himself from the High Table. After being shot, he seemingly died on the steps of the Sacré-Coeur in Paris while seeing a vision of his late wife, Helen.
The final scene showed Ian McShane’s Winston and Laurence Fishburne’s Bowery King visiting John’s gravestone, however, it is left open to interpretation whether he is actually dead.
Elsewhere in the interview, the filmmaker revealed that he and Reeves came up with the idea for the ending when they were in Japan for the press tour of Chapter 3 – Parabellum.
“We’re like, yeah, he’s got to die. And we got to come up with the coolest way to make that happen. We’ve got to make it all about, ‘you can only have a good death if you had a good life,'” he recalled. “That’s the first line we wrote on a napkin in Japan, three years out. We wrote the movie backwards off that one thing.”
Lionsgate executives announced in May that a fifth John Wick movie is in the works, however, Stahelski told Empire that he doesn’t yet have an idea for another instalment.
– Cover Media