How Lance Reddick First Responded To The Charon Surprise In John Wick: Chapter 4
Major spoilers for John Wick: Chapter 4.
SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for John Wick: Chapter 4. If you have not yet seen the film, proceed at your own risk!
The end of John Wick: Chapter 4 has stirred up a lot of conversation because it features the death of Keanu Reeves’ titular protagonist, but certainly not to be forgotten is that he is one of two major characters who doesn’t make it to the movie’s end credits. Charon, played by Lance Reddick (who tragically passed away earlier this month), is killed by Bill Skarsgård’s Marquis in an early scene – instantly setting high stakes for the film. It’s a shocking moment given fan appreciation for the stoic, talented concierge of The Continental, and Reddick was definitely taken aback when he first learned about Charon’s fate from the script.
I learned about Lance Reddick initial response to his character’s death while interviewing the actor and co-star Ian McShane at the Los Angeles press day for John Wick: Chapter 4. After talking about Winston’s motives at the end of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and working with Ana de Armas in the upcoming movie Ballerina, I moved the conversation into spoiler territory. I specifically asked about his reaction to Charon’s fate in the movie, and he said with a smile,
I followed up the conversation in my own chat with Chad Stahelski nearly two weeks after sitting down with Lance Reddick and Ian McShane – the day before the news broke that Reddick had died. I told the filmmaker that I had asked the actor about Charon’s death, noting that he seemed heart-struck, and he explained why it was that call was made in the John Wick: Chapter 4 script.
Stahelski began by saying that he could understand criticisms of the decision, noting that he is aware that it is sometimes an indication of creative bankruptcy:
He added that he wasn’t sure what version of the script Lance Reddick had read, noting that the movie changed over the course of the project’s development, but emphasized that it wasn’t a decision that was made flippantly. There were evidently versions of the script where Ian McShane’s Winston was killed (something McShane alluded to during my interview), but ultimately it was understood that Charon’s death was what was right for the film:
The moment in question comes relatively early in John Wick: Chapter 4. Winston and Charon go to meet with the Marquis, and they face serious consequences for their association with the killer nicknamed The Baba Yaga. Winston is stripped of his role as the manager of The Continental, but more importantly, Charon is shot and killed.
It’s a striking moment in the first act of the movie, and Chad Stahelski recognized it as a key and important plot beat:
Sadly, John Wick: Chapter 4 will now be remembered as one of Lance Reddick’s last films, though, as alluded to, we will see the actor back as Charon in Ballerina – which is set prior to the events of the new movie. He’ll next be featured in the remake of White Men Can’t Jump, which is scheduled to be released on May 19 on HBO Max.
If you haven’t seen it already, John Wick: Chapter 4 is now playing in theaters everywhere, and you can consult our 2023 Movie Release Calendar to learn about all of the titles set to hit cinemas and streaming services in the coming months.
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