John Wick 4 Director Is Worried About Topping Parabellum's Stunts

John Wick fighting opponents in Chapter 3 - Parabellum

If there’s one thing you can expect walking into a John Wick movie, it’s action… lots and lots of action. And as with every action-packed Hollywood movie, stunts play a big role in bringing these excitement sequences to life, with last year’s John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum significantly raising the bar by including moments like Keanu Reeves’ character fighting off assailants while riding a horse.

So naturally, John Wick: Chapter 4 will keep throwing fights and obstacles at the eponymous assassin, but director Chad Stahelski recently acknowledged that he’s worried about topping the stunts that were shown off in Parabellum. As Stahelski put it:

Neither [David Leitch or I] us hides from the the fact we were stuntmen. I’m pretty proud of it, like, cool. But we certainly don’t try to hide it. Like we’re just directing and we deal with that, like, ‘Yes, I want to make action movies.’ I think Dave and I were both good at what we did as stuntmen and as choreographers. So, we don’t want to lose that. I want to be cool with the action. I want to be a better director, but that doesn’t mean I want to do less action or have less to do with the action. I guess the third one just felt like I needed a place to go after number two, and I had these ideas. It kind of became that wacky action movie. There’s been a couple days where I’ve decided to do number four and I’ve woken up in a cold sweat going, ‘Horses! How do I beat horses?!’ Like, I have no fuckin’ idea, to tell you the truth. […] I think I have a lot of really cool ideas for the next one that I think are different and shocking and fun and unique. How to do them, I have no fuckin’ idea right now. I’m still figuring it out.

Before they directed John Wick together, Chad Stahelski and David Leitch had assembled quite the respective stunt resumes, including both of them performing stunts on the original Matrix movies (the men are also pitching in on The Matrix 4). So when it came time to make John Wick, their collective experience certainly helped with ensuring that the 2014’s movie stood out, and Stahelski has kept that going on his own with the subsequent John Wick sequels, while Leitch has gone on to direct movies like Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2 and Hobbs & Shaw.

Still, planning and performing good-looking stunts is one thing, but increasing size and spectacle is a whole other challenge, as Chad Stahelski noted while speaking with Collider. Bringing a horse into the equation was just the tip of the stunts iceberg in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, and Stahelski is still in the process of mapping out how he’ll make John Wick: Chapter 4 an even bigger deal on that front.

Chad Stahelski also mentioned that there’s currently a “scriptment” for John Wick: Chapter 4, i.e. a “written-out story, part outline, part script, part thing,” which has allowed him and the writers to what they want to do and where they want to do carry out the main beats of this next story. Stahelski didn’t drop any John Wick: Chapter 4 plot details, though he did tease that there will be some “underwater stuff,” which would definitely be one major way for the movie to distinguish itself from its predecessors.

John Wick: Chapter 4 is currently scheduled for May 21, 2021, the same day that The Matrix 4 is set to come out. However, since The Matrix 4 had to pause filming last month, and Keanu Reeves will have to finish his work on that project once daily life returns to normal, one would imagine filming on John Wick: Chapter 4 will begin shooting later than planned, thus requiring it to be delayed at some point.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more John Wick: Chapter 4 updates, and keep track of what’s still to come to theaters this year with our 2020 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.