If things had played out differently with director David Leitch and Chad Stahelski’s John Wick franchise, we might have seen a franchise that splattered a whole lot more blood onto the screen. But as their intentions were to have a more realistic, but still brutal series of kills in their film, the directors instructed their visual effects team to bring things down a notch.
So while you do see blood in the John Wick series, it’s very methodically placed in its usage. Part of that is due to the reality of the wounds the series inflicts on its various baddies, as you’ll see in the following remarks from Kirk Brillon, the VFX supervisor from John Wick: Chapter 2:
A lot of times when you’re doing special effects for action movies, when someone gets shot, the blood explodes out toward you, toward the camera. But when you’re actually shot by a bullet, the blood’s coming out the back.
Apparently, the call for more realistic gore in the John Wick universe came from the fact that David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, both trained stuntmen who worked on The Matrix with Keanu Reeves, are versed in how things like gunshot wounds, snapped limbs and other sorts of grotesqueries look in the practical world. So rather than ramp things up Tarantino style, the call was made early on to keep it real, straight on through to John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.
Comparatively, that decision was, and still is, a wise play to keep in the John Wick series of films. The action pretty much speaks for itself, with the blood being an accent of realism showing that those bone crunching stunts hurt the characters as much as you thought they would.
Ultimately, the policy on blood in the John Wick universe can be summed up in the following words spoken by Kirk Brillon, also spoken during this very interview he gave to Variety:
The blood’s gonna be there, but it’s gonna be subtle, and it’s gonna be behind them.
While there’s not an excess of blood shed during the course of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, there’s certainly a lot of cash and goodwill being thrown around by its audience. Weighing in with $109 million in its first week at the box office, this third film opens the door wide open for a fourth chapter, both in terms of where the plot winds up in the ending, and with Lionsgate excited to get to work on that very film’s scheduling.