John Wick 4 Director Breaks Silence on SPOILER Deaths in the Film

Over the course of the previous three films, Keanu Reeves' John Wick has killed what appears to be hundreds of people, from average henchmen to more powerful antagonists, with John Wick: Chapter 4 delivering more fatalities than ever. While this number includes dozens of nameless figures, Chapter 4 offers up much more significant deaths of characters who have been substantial components of Wick's journey. Director Chad Stahelski recently addressed the process of delivering these fatalities and emphasized that, for a series about consequences, the franchise itself couldn't skirt around that notion just to make audiences happy. John Wick: Chapter 4 is in theaters now.

WARNING: Major spoilers below for John Wick: Chapter 4

Early in the film, Lance Reddick's Charon is killed by Bill Skarsgård's Marquis de Gramont, and while Wick ultimately executes the Marquis in the film's finale, Wick seemingly suffered mortal wounds as the film ends with a glimpse at John Wick's tombstone.

"We didn't start [by saying,] 'We gotta kill somebody.' I think Game of Thrones did it -- everyone thought they were just killing people to be shocking, I thought they took storylines through their conclusion," Stahleski shared with "If you didn't do things like that, it would tease the audience in the wrong way, and now you're just f-cking with me, like, 'Okay, really? We're gonna do this and keep an endless [loop]?' There's gotta be the end of the timeline somewhere. There's gotta be full circle, you need some of that."

He continued, "I love Lance, I love Keanu, I love all the people, I love the puppy. You have to disconnect yourself from the cast member, from the storyline, from the character you love, and you go, 'What's best for the overall movie?' We do wacky experiments, like I'll cut that scene and go, 'What happens if Charon didn't die? What happens if we do this, what happens if we don't do this here?' You do the false negative, you do it with it, you do it without it, you show some people who have never seen it and they're like, 'Hmm,' but then you show the sequence with the demise, and they're like 'Oh, my God, I felt so much stuff.'"

Chapter 4 isn't the first time Stahelski might have received some pushback on the depressing elements of the adventure, as he recalled that he also earned pushback about a pivotal moment in the very first entry.

"I'm trying to take you on a ride, it's my job as a storyteller to hit you below the belt sometimes, sometimes to lift your chin up just to knock you back down, just like I do with John Wick," the filmmaker expressed. "It's hard to make a movie with a theme of consequence and never show consequence and that's how we came to the decisions that we do. You don't think that, on the first movie, we had every executive out there trying to get us to take out the puppy scene? Like, are you kidding? Everyone that was involved tried to get us to cut the puppy scene. I'm like, 'If we cut that scene, we're never gonna get what we want here.' That's just the attitude we took."

With Chapter 4 cutting from Wick collapsing on a set of stairs to his tombstone, it's insinuated that his deadly exploits finally caught up with him, but Stahelski pointed out a key detail about the tombstone.

Stahelski confirmed, "As far as the John Wick conundrum, we've always looked at it as duality. There's John, there's John Wick, so you tell me who lives, who dies?"

John Wick: Chapter 4 is in theaters now.

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