John Wick: Chapter 4 Nearly Had a Much More Depressing Post-Credits Scene

As has become the tradition with many long-running franchises, John Wick: Chapter 4 features a post-credits scene that ties not only into the events of the preceding story, but also hints at what's in store for the franchise's future, though director Chad Stahelski recently recalled that the original plan for such a scene was much grimmer. Not only would that original plan have denied audiences a fun tease, but it also would have limited what characters could appear in a follow-up film, as Stahelski instead opted for the ambiguity of what is now featured in the theatrical release. John Wick: Chapter 4 is in theaters now.

WARNING: Major spoilers for John Wick: Chapter 4 below

The post-credits scene that audiences can currently enjoy features Caine (Donnie Yen) about to reunite with his daughter, only for Akira (Rina Sawayama) to appear to tease his imminent demise. Stahelski confirmed that the plan was originally to show Akira killing Caine, earning her revenge for Caine killing her father Shimazu (Hiroyuki Sanada).

"Keanu [Reeves] and I are always laughing, it's like, 'It should be Hard Boiled. We gotta kill everybody,'" Stahelski confirmed to CinemaBlend. "So we tested it with Rina, the Akira character actually doing more than just the intent. And we put it right after the end of the movie, and it was kind of like a downer to a downer to a downer. At the end of it, as you know, despite the body count, Keanu and I are both into hope. We don't like the dystopian, 'It's all bleak' kind of thing. I know it seems weird when we do this, but at the end of the day, you know, we want you to leave with a positive feeling."

He added, "We just wanted something, but it felt weird to leave it off just 'cause I love Akira. I love Rina's character. I love Donnie's character and in our world, yeah, you do bad things, bad things happen. He did a bad thing. We've been pitching for nine years, 'consequences.' It would be a little weird if we didn't show a consequence. So that's our dark side, I guess."

Given that Wick himself seemingly dies at the end of the movie, there's currently no confirmed plans for a sequel, but the franchise is set to expand with the TV series The Continental and the spin-off movie Ballerina. While both Caine and Akira could potentially return in a future project, Stahelski denied confirming their future.

"I think it's cool that way 'cause you don't know. Maybe Akira doesn't [kill him]. Maybe there's a moment. I like movies where it leaves a little part to you guys," Stahelski admitted. "I love books like that. I love storytelling like that. That's why I think I always gravitated to myths. Whether it was Odysseus or Orpheus or Dante's Inferno, it always leaves this little bit of question. Did he make it? Was it a fever dream? For all we know John's waking up in John Wick: Chapter 1 going, 'Oh geez, that was a dream!'"

John Wick: Chapter 4 is in theaters now.

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