The John Wick movies go hard. They might, in fact, go harder than any films ever. Given that John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum featured a goon being murdered with some extremely brutal book-fu and teamed Keanu Reeves back up with his old Matrix buddy Laurence Fishburne, it’s difficult to imagine that there could be levels of hardness as yet unexplored by Reeves’ sharply-suited hitman.
But the early noises from the John Wick: Chapter 4 camp certainly suggest that it will pick up the mantle laid down by the first three movies – and then probably do some mad martial arts moves with it, before taking a lump out of a henchman’s arm, just for good measure. As director Chad Stahelski exclusively tells Empire in our brand new issue, things are about to get even more out-there. “If you took The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, crossed it with Zatoichi, and threw in a Greek myth, you’d probably get something close to this,” Stahelski tells Empire, in the world-exclusive new Indiana Jones 5 issue. “And who else fucking says those kinds of sentences? Now you know why I like doing John Wicks.” A Western-Samurai-odyssey? Our excitement for this fourth chapter just stepped up a gear.
Stahelski was keen to mix things up for the fourth film. “It gets a little scary after the third one,” he admits. “Because now we have a formula that works. But you have to throw caution to the wind and say, ‘Fuck it, we’re not doing that again.’ So now, on number four, we have multiple storylines. The movie feels different. It feels more epic.” That means expanding the world of Wick, with locations this time around including France, Jordan and Tokyo. “I travel a lot,” Stahelski says. “I’m in Paris scouting, and see the Arc de Triomphe and I’m like, ‘Okay, I got an idea.’ So I put it in the movie. I’ve got some cowboy friends in the stunt community, so I think, ‘That would be a cool horse gag.’ Two of the big sequences were last-minute inspirations that I’ve always wanted to try but just didn’t know how to do.” Like we said: John Wick films go hard. Bring. It. On.