The highly anticipated John Wick Chapter 4, film’s director, Chad Stahelski, recently revealed that an alternate ending was considered during production—one that would have provided a clear resolution to the speculation surrounding John Wick’s fate.
In an interview with Empire magazine, Stahelski shared insights into the decision-making process and the audience’s reception of the different endings.
Chad Stahelski disclosed that he and Keanu Reeves, who portrays the iconic character John Wick, had initially envisioned a different ending for the film. In this alternate version, viewers would have witnessed John Wick alive and well at the conclusion, eliminating any ambiguity about his survival.
However, during test screenings, the audience expressed a strong preference for the ambiguous ending that ultimately made it into theaters.
Stahelski explained, “We had a different ending. [The theatrical ending] was the ending Keanu and I wanted, but we shot a different ending. We shot an ending where you actually saw John Wick at the end of the movie. So it was very clear that he was still alive. The audiences we tested with absolutely preferred the ambiguous ending.”
The Ambiguous Fate of John Wick
The fourth chapter of the John Wick saga serves as a swan song for the character, featuring an intense duel to the death between Wick and martial arts expert Caine.
Although Wick’s decapitation is not shown on screen, the film’s dialogue and overarching thematic elements strongly imply that Wick has met his demise.
Keanu Reeves himself has deliberately avoided giving a definitive answer, encouraging the audience to draw their own conclusions.
During an interview, Reeves said, “I mean, I have an opinion, but I don’t know if we should concretize it. Let the audience decide.” This deliberate ambiguity adds an extra layer of intrigue to the character’s fate, leaving fans debating and speculating about his ultimate destiny.
Future Installments and Expanding the Franchise
While John Wick 5 was originally planned to be filmed back-to-back with Chapter 4, changes in production schedules cast uncertainty over the possibility of another sequel. However, the exceptional success of Chapter 4 at the box office propelled Lionsgate to renew their commitment to the franchise, putting the fifth movie back in development.
Producer Basil Iwanyk confirmed the ongoing development of John Wick 5 but emphasized that the creative team is still in the early stages of crafting the story. Speaking to IGN during an exclusive preview for the John Wick prequel series The Continental, Iwanyk stated that they haven’t yet solidified what the upcoming film will look like or feel like.
In the meantime, fans can look forward to additional John Wick content. An extended director’s cut of John Wick 4 is in the works, promising an even more immersive experience for enthusiasts of the action-packed series.
Additionally, a 1970s-set prequel series titled The Continental will make its debut on Peacock in September, exploring the intriguing origins of the John Wick universe. Furthermore, a spinoff film titled Ballerina, starring Ana de Armas, is set to be released on June 7, 2024, expanding the franchise’s reach and introducing new narratives to captivate audiences.
John Wick Chapter 4 offered viewers a thrilling and captivating experience, leaving them questioning the fate of the iconic character. Director Chad Stahelski’s revelation about the alternate ending sheds light on the decision-making process and the audience’s preference for ambiguity.