5 facts you didn’t know about John Wick

28 May 2020
John Wick could be one of the greatest action heroes ever.
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

With a minuscule $20,000,000 budget, John Wick, became a cult movie almost overnight. Now, with three movies in the franchise, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, grossed more in its opening weekend than the first movie did in its entire run.

Here are some things you may not know about this action trilogy:

1. Keanu Reeves is VERY well-prepared

Practice, as they say, makes perfect. And Keanu Reeves practices a LOT. In fact, Reeves starts training four to five months before filming starts. Not just once a week but every day for four to five hours a day. He has undergone training in judo, jujutsu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, weapons training, marksmanship, advanced driving and, for Chapter 3, a little horseriding.

2. John Wick is supposed to be in his mid-60s.

Although Keanu Reeves may be a very spritely 55-years-old, he’s still a decade younger than the John Wick screenwriter, Derek Kolstad, intended. However, Thunder Road Films founder, Basil Iwanyk, wanted someone who was not literally older, but who has a seasoned history in the film world.

3. Alfie Allen was cast for his looks

It wasn’t Alfie Allen’s portrayal of Theon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones that netted him the part of Iosef Tarasov in John Wick. According to directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, it was simply because he looks like a “pr*ck”. Just to clarify, Strahelski also said Allen is “a super pleasurable guy to be around.” So it’s not all bad.

4. Producers didn’t want to kill the dog

Nobody loves a puppy more than John Wick. Except perhaps the producers of the film. According to screenwriter Derek Kolstad, some of the producers couldn’t even read past the dog’s murder in the script while one even suggested killing off John’s entire family rather than the loveable beagle.

5. The director used to be Keanu Reeves’ stunt double

Yes. Director Chad Stahelski, who has directed all three John Wick movies to date, used to be a stuntman and doubled for Reeves on The Matrix (1999). He also leant his talents to Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Spider-Man 2 (2004) and 300 (2006). In fact, John Wick was Strahelski’s directorial debut having finished up his stunt career as stunt coordinator on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2014).

Bonus fact: John Wick has killed a total of 299 people in the three films; 77 in the first, 128 in Chapter 2 and 94 in Parabellum. No wonder they’re all scared of him.