John Wick: Chapter 4 director names stars he would love to have in the film

Estimated read time 6 min read

John Wick: Chapter 4 director Chad Stahelski has named the stars he would love to work with on the next sequel of the John Wick film series. He named some of the industry’s top stars including Jason Statham and Jackie Chan.

In an interview with Screenrant, Chad Stahelski spoke at length about his progression having directed the four John Wick films. He noted that he gets better with more work done just like any other job gives you a better experience with more work. He said he has now spent seven years directing John Wic and researching and learning about more things in relation to the work. That he said, makes you better and not just the work.

“Yeah, the best way I can say it is that we all try to get better every day. The more articles you write, the better you get, right? I hope you don’t go the other way. And I think, in the middle of writing articles, you’re reading books. Every little thing inspires you; you watch somebody’s documentary, or you read somebody else’s review, and you go, “That’s cool,” and you expand. You get better during your writing process, but it’s also the in between where you really expand because you get more inspired.

It’s no different from us. The first one is your first time directing, so you have all these grandiose ideas, but you have a limited budget and time. You try to make a statement, and you try to have some kind of authorship over whatever your style is. But it’s your first film, so you take a stab. You know that you want anamorphic, you know you want lens flares on a certain colour palette. You want to break the mould a little bit, but at the same time, you’ve got no time or money, but you’re trying to do a Gene Kelly movie with martial arts.

The second one, I had more money and more time, so I wanted to do a rock opera. You have a big concert and Caracalla baths in Rome, and now you’re exploring yourself. It was probably around the third film, where I had taken time to really understand that directing is a little different than I thought it was. I looked at Keanu and was like, “I gotta get really better at this. How do you do this? I gotta be better at storytelling. I gotta write this thing better.” I’m a little weak in my second acts; I got a great opener, and I can end ’em good, but my second act is a little squishy. What is John Wick really doing? “He’s killing people.” That’s not good enough.

You come to the fourth one, and now I’ve spent seven years directing John Wick, researching storytelling, and reading as much as I can and trying things. For the first time, I feel like I’ve got a story. I’vee got my head around storytelling now. To answer your question, it’s a learning process. You see how hard my stunt team work, and you see how Keanu works. It’s all hanging on him, right? I pushed my crew and all this stuff, and now I’ve got John Wick 4. I’ve got this story that I really want to tell in a narrative way that I want to tell it, and I need 100 days and nights, and I’m going to push Keanu at 57 even more than I’ve ever pushed him before.

So, how do you think I have to look myself in the mirror and go, “Well, if I’m not better, I’m going to let my crew and my cast down.” You really take that beat and go, “Okay, I gotta get my s–t together.” You watch these films and really be honest with yourself what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. I realized what I was not good at, and Keanu and I and the crew realized what we were really successful at and what we’re lacking. Everybody went, “Okay, hands in. Let’s promise to get better at what we’re not good at.” What do I suck at? I gotta improve my narrative. I gotta improve my storytelling.

What’s more interesting? It’s not just come up with a gag or camera angle; it’s just making yourself better. If I get better, Keanu gets better, the crew gets better, and the movie gets better. It’s that f**king simple. If you rely on a bigger explosion or a bigger gag or some funky camera angle, that will sustain you for a beat. But that’s an enormous boost; that’s not a meal. You’ve got to become a better chef and get better product to make a better meal, and that’s just the attitude we took.

Touching on which stars he would love to have in John Wick: Chapter 5, the veteran stuntman and film director mentioned some of the great names in the industry.

Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 4
Photograph by Murray Close / Courtesy Lionsgate

So many people. So many! Keanu and I have a whole board of people we’d love to work with. If you told me Cillian Murphy was going to be in a John Wick movie, I’d be like, “Oh my God!” If you told me Jackie Chan or Jet Li, or Jason Statham? If you said Stallone was going to make a cameo! I’m a little bit old school, so the dream list is, “Clint Eastwood is going to make an appearance.” Christian Bale, Chris Hemsworth, or Hugh Jackman; Matt Damon and all these people that I love.

We’re friends with Jason Momoa, and I can’t imagine a better enticement than Jason Momoa coming in and giving you that look! Like, come on. These are all people we’d love to [work with]. Whether that’s in John Wick or another project, I’m a fanboy just like everybody else. If I could work with those people, I would.

Background of John Wick

John Wick is an American action thriller first released in 2014. The original story was written Derek Kolstad and directed by Chad Stahelski. John Wick(Keanu Reeves), a legendary hitman is forced out of retirement to seek revenge for the killing of his puppy, the last gift to him by his deceased wife.

Chapter 4 which was released on March 6, 2023, in London and March 24, in the United States, sees John Wick preparing to take revenge on the High Table. He stayed underground with the Bowery King as he plans to execute his plan. He travelled to Morocco where he killed the “one who sits above the Table”, known as the Elder.

As a response, Marquis Vincent de Gramont, a member of the High Table, summons Winston, the New York Continental hotel manager and his concierge, Charon. He tells Winston the High Table offers him unlimited resources to find and kill John Wick. As punishment, De Gramont strips Winston of his duties as manager and declares him “excommunicado”. He then destroys the Continental and executes Charon. De Gramont then travels to Paris and enlists Caine, a blind, retired High Table assassin to kill his old friend, John Wick, threatening to murder Caine’s daughter if he fails.

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