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John Wick stands with a whole bunch of guns surrounding his head in a promotional image for the John

John Wick 4 hasn’t even started production, but it’s already further along than some of the other major Hollywood films slated for release in the next couple of years. That’s because the filmmakers will be able to use some action sequences that they wound up scrapping when they filmed John Wick 3. It sounds like they already have a plan for how to integrate the footage, too, even if they’re keeping it under wraps.

At first, the plan was for John Wick 3 to be the final film in the franchise. According to director Chad Stahelski, though, the film’s team, including Keanu Reeves, decided before the film hit theaters that they weren’t quite done telling John Wick’s wild story. That meant that when it came time to put the final cut together, they had to change some things around in order to make room for future chapters -- though, the director said that footage won’t necessarily have to be on the cutting room floor forever:

There’s a couple things. I like thematics. Obviously, you can see the influences of the old Westerns and the old Samurai films. All the Arthurian tales for chivalry and all that kind of stuff, back to that. We had a couple of overlapping thematics, and I stripped it down to the bare essentials. And there were two action sequences that we had really kind of conceived, but we just didn’t have room for them. So, we pulled them from the movie. And I’d like to think that 90 percent of what I pulled, there’s a place in John Wick 4 that I can definitely reinsert them.

That doesn’t mean that the John Wick crew takes a cut and paste approach to making the movies, though. Chad Stahelski made it clear to The Hollywood Reporter that regardless of where the footage comes from, their first objective is always the storytelling:

Obviously, the Wicks aren’t formulaic or anything like that, so it takes a little while to kind of come up with the thematics we want to do and how nutty and subversive we want to be on storytelling. So, it’s been a lot of back and forth to really try and crack what we want to do with the next John Wick.

Though Chad Stahelski is mum on what exactly those cut sequences entail and how they might inform the overall storyline in John Wick 4, it’s safe to assume some awesome stunts will be involved. It's also to know all that work won’t have gone to waste, and it may end up being a stroke of luck for the filmmakers as well.

John Wick 4 isn’t slated to hit theaters until 2022, after having been pushed back, so there’s no telling whether the film’s production could be affected by the recent pandemic. Still, the availability of ready-to-go footage could, feasibly, help them stay on track for that release date if they encounter any delays.

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