Keanu Reeves has had a fantastic career. He went from comedy freak to action star in his own right. He then starred in the seismic science fiction action film The Matrix. Who would have thought that playing Neo would lead to the following significant change in another action series? Although this one is a bit more brutal than the last. John Wick shocked the world, but we had plenty of time to familiarize ourselves with his world (and violence) to round up 20 facts about the first film in the series.
Derek Kolstad was able to sell his screenplay about an ex-hitman for revenge, and after that, Keanu Reeves discovered the project. He was interested in attending and joining in, but he was also quite experienced with the experience. Kolstad said he and Reeves worked on the script together and helped flesh out the John Wick character.
Reeves was also responsible for the name of the film.
Kolstad’s screenplay was about a character named John Wick, but he titled the film Humiliation. However, Keanu seemed focused on the character he played. He enthusiastically told people he was working on a film called John Wick, and he did so much that they decided to call the film a replacement for Humiliation.
Keanu also attracted the directors.
Chad Stahelski and David Leitch will direct the film, though only Stahelski has been officially named due to a decision by the Directors Guild, and they have Reeves to thank for that. Although he had never worked as a director, Reeves felt he could handle the action. After all, he had seen her at work in person. Keanu first met the directing duo when they were stunt doubles in The Matrix.
Stahelski and Leitch also contributed to the film’s concept.
The director duo reinforced the idea of John Wick as something of an urban legend. Other criminals and killers speak of him in low tones and only with respect and fear. The concept of Wick as a “Boogeyman” character came from the director and is one of the reasons why Reeves was so excited to have him on board.
The name is a nickname for family members.
John Wick is now synonymous with the character, but it’s not necessarily the most interesting name on paper. Kolstad didn’t develop it from scratch but paid homage to his grandfather of the same name. Fortunately, his grandfather was flattered and overjoyed to have his name used for a killer character.
Reeves was not Wick’s inspiration.
While Reeves was there from the start, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing him now, Kolstad wasn’t who he had in mind when writing the film. While working on the screenplay for The Humiliation of the Day, Kolstad approached Paul Newman for the role. It’s also not a bad choice for a retired assassin.
The impressive cast impresses several actors.
There are a lot of famous names and faces in John Wick, and even the actors in the film are still amazing. Alfie Allen, who played the villainous Josef whose actions bring Wick out of retirement, was stunned at the first cast and crew dinner when William Dafoe entered the room.
Wrestling fans may recognize any of the actors.
Francis, a nightclub bouncer whom Wick saves, has a minor role. However, it was performed by great actors. The franchise is played by Kevin Nash, who you may remember as a professional wrestler. He was one of the founding members of the nWo and also wrestled as Diesel in the WWF.
The character’s name most likely comes from the mythology.
Lance Reddick plays a bouncer at the Continental, a hotel for assassins, assassins, and all kinds of unfortunate people who need a haven in the city. His character’s name is Charon, which could easily be the pseudonym of the person given the job. In Greek mythology, Charon grants you safe passage across the River Styx if you pay in coins. In John Wick, Charon is paid in coins on the Continental.
You can visit Continental.
John Wick was filmed in New York and used multiple locations in New York. One is the Delmonico Building located at 2 South William Street in Manhattan. The exterior is used as the Continental exterior. The inside is, of course, completely different.
Some form of headgear is required to cover the injury.
The late Michael Nyqvist played the main villain Viggo Tarasov, was a game actor. Did you notice with John Wick that sometimes Viggo wears a hat, and sometimes he doesn’t? There are practical reasons for this. While filming a physical scene, Nyquist’s head was accidentally split open. It was bad enough to have seams, meaning a wig was out of the question. It was Nyqvist’s idea to wear a hat from this point in the film, so any scene where he wears a hat is post-injury.
The film is influenced by several classic works from the 1960s
Stahelski and Leitch had several important influences in directing the film. The two that stand out the most are “The Good,” “The Bad,” “The Ugly,” and “Point Blank.” If you’ve seen Point Blank, the influence should be apparent; there’s even a direct homage to Lee Marvin’s revenge flick in the film. As for Eastwood’s western, its power stems more from a lack of attention to backstory and filling in all the blanks.
John Wick’ was an unexpected hit.
Once, Reeves was a big movie star, but he chose to make smaller action films after The Matrix ended. So expectations weren’t too high for John Wick, primarily since it wasn’t based on an existing property. Instead, it made about $43 million in the United States and about $88 million worldwide. It had a budget of between $20 and $30 million, considered a resounding success.
This film spawned several video games.
John Wick is ultimately about a trained assassin traveling around New York and shooting many people. It is the perfect food for video games. In fact, after the success of the film, several video games appeared. The first is a virtual reality game called John Wick Chronicles, which came out in 2017, around the same time as the first sequel. Then came John Wick Hex, the prequel to 2019’s game.
Oh yes, there are some sequels.
John Wick could be a successful standalone film, but there’s money to be made, and Reeves seems excited about the franchise. So we have John Wick: Chapter 2 in 2017 and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum in 2019. Both were co-written by Kolstad and directed by Stahelski. The fourth installment will be out on March 24, 2023, with John Wick 5 in the works.
Leitch continued but to no avail.
While Leitch is technically considered by the DGA to be the producer of John Wick, he is a co-director. Stahelski is directing the sequel alone. Leach is fine. He made his solo directorial debut in 2017 with Atomic Blonde, a film starring Charlize Theron and full of John Wick vibes. He also directed Deadpool 2 and Hobbs & Shaw, two huge blockbusters.
The fight scenes are awe-inspiring in that situation
When it came time to shoot the nightclub fight scene, Reeves was slightly annoyed. He had the flu and a pretty bad fever. Also, he had to learn the entire order of the day. Regardless of how he felt, he remembered it and recorded it smoothly. Reeves is said to have done 90 percent of the action in the film.
Such a story is a bit like an Easter egg.
In the film, a security guard is seen waving to John Wick on the airport tarmac while reading a book called Shibumi. To be precise, this book tells the story of a killer determined to get back into action.
Wick’s tattoo may have military connections.
John Wick has a famous and prominent tattoo on his back. It contains the Latin expression “Fortis Fortuna Aduivat.” Roughly translated, this means “Fortune favors the strong.” This is a famous motto for military units around the world. Of course, it should come as no surprise that Wick has military experience in his past.
Reeves also “sacrificed” in other ways.
Reeves does most of the action, even with the dogs. He had fat on his face to make his dogs jump on the bed and lick him. John Wick is a film of brutal violence and tragic revenge. Why not leave a picture of the dog licking Keanu Reeves’ face?
A similar story is a bit of an Easter egg.
In the film, a security guard that waves John Wick onto an airport runway is seen reading a book called “Shibumi.” That book, fittingly enough, is about an assassin who is coaxed back into action.
Wick’s tattoo may have military connections.
John Wick has a notable, distinct tattoo on his back. It includes the Latin phrase “Fortis Fortuna Aduivat.” This translates roughly to “Fortune favors the strong.” It is a famous motto for military units all over the world. Of course, it wouldn’t be surprising if Wick had some military experience in his past.
Reeves also “sacrificed” in a different way.
Reeves did most of his stunts, even the dog-related ones. He had bacon grease on his face to prompt his dog to jump into bed to lick it. John Wick is a film filled with brutal violence and tragic revenge. Why not leave in the image of a dog licking Keanu Reeves’ face?