John Wick: Chapter 4 Original Cut Was Almost Four Hours Long

The newest installment in the acclaimed John Wick franchise, John Wick: Chapter 4, is by far the longest entry in the series. Chad Stahelski and Keanu Reeves' latest action team-up hits theaters this weekend and boasts a surprising two-hour-and-50-minute runtime, most of which is filled with nonstop thrills. While the runtime for John Wick: Chapter 4 feels long compared to its predecessors, the original cut of the film was actually a lot longer.

Initially, John Wick: Chapter 4 was almost four hours long. Stahelski and editor Nathan Orloff recently told IndieWire that the first cut that was turned in ran for three hours and 45 minutes. To make matters worse, Stahelski said that the film felt every bit as long as it was, making it difficult to sit through and requiring the editing team to make a lot of adjustments.

"To be really honest with you, zero was planned out," Stahelski said. "Our first cut was three hours and 45 minutes, and it felt like three hours and 45 minutes. We were like, 'Oh, we're screwed.'"

While John Wick: Chapter 4 is still a long movie, it's almost an hour shorter than the initial cut. Orloff had a lot to cut out, while still finding ways to expand the universe of John Wick and simultaneously keep the focus on the titular assassin.

"I wanted to make sure that [John] was still at the center of the universe, that everything always led back to him even though we were cutting away from him," Orloff said.

"You just compress, compress, compress," he continued. "I went through a pass where anytime someone repeated an idea they had already expressed, I cut it out. No repeated ideas. it's a very linear story, so there wasn't a ton of reconstruction or rearrangement we could do. It was just a matter of sifting out what we didn't need."

Ultimately, the final runtime of John Wick: Chapter 4 seems to working for audiences, as the early reactions and reviews from critics have been heaping praise on the new action installment.

John Wick: Chapter 4 arrives in theaters this weekend.