When screenwriter Shay Hatten was handed the job of writing John Wick: Chapter 4, he says there was no particular plan for what the film ought to seem like. “It’s cool. It’s actually thrilling,” he advised Polygon in an interview forward of the film’s launch. “As a result of there’s no blueprint, you’re identical to, Oh, it truly is a clean web page the place you get to ask the pure questions: The place would John have gone off after the final film? And you then determine it out and put it collectively.
“It’s in some senses tiring, since you strive 100 totally different variations, but it surely’s additionally actually gratifying while you lastly begin to crack an concept that finally makes its method right into a film.”
That additionally meant there weren’t particular pointers for the brand new characters put in orbit round Keanu Reeves’ hero in John Wick 4, together with blind swordsman Kaine, performed by Donnie Yen, and the preening villain generally known as the Marquis, performed by Invoice Skarsgård. Hatten’s co-writer Michael Finch says the 2 writers “had our wishlist” of individuals they hoped would play the characters they have been writing, which affected their script. However they weren’t advised to jot down with particular actors in thoughts, so the individuals who did find yourself within the roles typically reshaped their characters.
Finch, who met John Wick collection director Chad Stahelski on the 2015 movie Hitman: Agent 47, says he was introduced in to help on the script after “Shay obtained bored with engaged on John Wick 4, and threw up his arms just a little bit!” Hatten beforehand labored in an identical function for John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum: “I used to be type of the man who got here in when it was already rolling,” he reminded Finch through the interview. Each males have been stunned on the film’s eventual casting, however excited at the way it modified the story.
Picture: Murray Shut/Lionsgate
“It’s so grand and rewarding while you write a personality, you then get an actor who truly understands it,” Finch stated. “And I feel that a part of the system is that Keanu believes he’s John Wick whereas he’s making John Wick [movies]. He has to, for all types of causes, largely for the bodily beating he’s taking. He one way or the other manages to promote that to the opposite actors. These people present up, and two days in, they imagine they’re the character, I feel. That’s what permits them to really feel so seamless. They’re proudly owning these characters. And for us, that’s an enormous win.”
Finch says that dynamic lets the actors inject extra of themselves into the characters, and reshape them within the course of — as an illustration, what Donnie Yen did with Caine. “The unique character, as written, was just a little bit tough across the edges,” he says. “Donnie is an extremely polished man, extremely elegant. Not solely that, he’s extremely crisp. The combat strikes he does are an extension of the way in which he carries himself. They’re extremely exact, extremely sharp. And he introduced that to the character. He introduced a sure stage of laser-like depth, shark-like depth, that wasn’t essentially written into the character.
“Keanu winds up all chewed up, beat to shit. And one way or the other, Caine manages to remain crisp, sharp, sun shades all the time keep on. And that was one thing he dropped at the character, this precision.”
Hatten says the chemistry between Yen and Reeves additionally “provides an incredible quantity to the film.” Their performances indicate extra familiarity and luxury with one another than was essentially within the script. “Simply by the character of the performances these two guys are giving, each time they’re on display screen collectively, you as an viewers member get an actual sense of a shared historical past they could have collectively,” he says. “You may think about the adventures these guys might need been on 20 years in the past, in a John Wick film we by no means noticed. So he brings a ton to the feel of the franchise.”
Hatten thinks the John Wick franchise solid regularly makes use of their performances to indicate these sorts of wealthy, sophisticated connections, and that it’s a major a part of the collection’ success.
“It simply allows you to create this entire mythology in your head for the 1000’s of adventures this man in all probability went on,” he says. “It makes him appear that rather more epic. If we ever outlined precisely what John Wick’s particular backstory was, it could make him much less of a fantasy, since you’d have all of the solutions. You don’t need the solutions. I feel it’s cooler that it’s a limitless factor, the place we will simply maintain pulling out new, unstated items of the previous to discover in new films.”