One Death In Keanu Reeves’ John Wick Caused Chaos Behind The Scenes As It Haunted The Filmmakers

One Death In Keanu Reeves' John Wick Caused Chaos Behind The Scenes As It Haunted The Filmmakers
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While long-running cinematic franchises have a long history and legacy to support themselves, new films that want to expand to that level often find it difficult to do so. But then, a franchise like Keanu Reeves’ John Wick emerges out of nowhere and takes the world by storm, leaving nothing but almost a cult-like following in its path.

Keanu Reeves in a still from the John Wick franchise
Keanu Reeves in a still from the John Wick franchise

Creating one of the most ruthless and ferocious action films in the world is not a small feat to achieve, yet the creators managed to do that with flying colors. But reaching that place was not an easy task to do, and one of the decisions that blew away the sleep from their eyes was when they had to make the decision to kill a certain someone in the franchise.

How Killing Keanu Reeves’ Dog In John Wick Was Frightening For The Filmmakers

Keanu Reeves with the famous Beagle from John Wick
Keanu Reeves with the famous pet Beagle from John Wick

Looking back at it today, when the first John Wick came out, many did not have too many hopes for the film since they believed that it was just another action film. But soon enough, that exact adrenaline-pumping action and stunt sequences were what made Keanu Reeves the perfect image of a perfectly indestructible assassin. But going back to where it all started, it was heartbreaking to see his pet dog, the last memory of his late wife Helen in the film, killed by the bad guys. While it may have been saddening for the audience, the death was a total nightmare for the creators.


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In conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Chad Stahelski, who is the co-director of the franchise alongside David Leitch, talked about the famous action sequences and stunts performed in the film and other aspects of filmmaking that went into creating a billion-dollar franchise. Then, coming back to where it all began, the director also talked about how the decision to kill the dog was probably one of the most fear-inducing moments for the creative team. He highlighted how the audiences love animals, and killing them on-screen can have dire consequences for the success of a film. He said:

“Killing the puppy was written out as many times as it was written back in. We’re not trying to hold the realism. We want the viewers to know we’re having a laugh. But you don’t even know how much Dave and I stressed about that. Holy sh*t, we were risking credit cards, a house mortgage, everything. [Producer] Basil Iwanyk put his company up. And then you have that day where you realize we’re doing all this and we’re killing a puppy? I thought we would never come back from it.”

And while it may come out as very inconsiderate to say, many people know that the death of the puppy was the best thing that happened for the franchise, no matter how heavy of a heart they say it with.


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What’s Next For The John Wick Franchise?

Keanu Reeves in a still from John Wick: Chapter 4
Keanu Reeves in a still from John Wick: Chapter 4

After the events that transpired in the latest installment of the franchise, especially towards the end of the film, it was widely believed that the franchise had finally come to an end after almost a decade of ruthless murders. But now, with the series being more popular than ever before, it seems like it’s just getting started.

Lionsgate is all set to release a new series from the world of John Wick, titled The Continental, which tells the tale of a young Winston running the New York branch of the hotel. And next is Ballerina, which will be a spin-off film featuring Ana De Armas as the titular lead.


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John Wick, streaming on Peacock.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

How John Wick Revolutionized Action In Movies | FandomWire Video Essay


Written by Deepak Bisht

Articles Published: 1392

Deepak Bisht is a writer at FandomWire who has vast expertise in films of many genres, a hardcore anime nerd along with two years of writing experience. After completing his Bachelor's in Business Administration, he became part of the company in hopes of providing accurate, informative, and exciting articles to the world.

Apart from his contributions to FandomWire, the rest of his time is spent either reading quality works of literature, listening to vintage music, or playing any video games he can get his hands on.