John Wick had originally imagined Keanu Reeves’ character as a 75-year-old man.
Franchise producer Basil Iwanyk discussed the titular role’s origins in new book They Shouldn’t Have Killed His Dog: The Complete Uncensored Ass-Kicking Oral History of John Wick, Gun Fu, and the New Age of Action.
“One of my best friends is Charlie Ferraro at United Talent Agency, who sent me this script from [screenwriter] Derek Kolstad called Scorn,” Iwanyk said, per The Independent. “The lead was a 75-year-old man, 25 years after being retired.
“It was the fun of watching Clint Eastwood kick ass. I thought, ‘Okay, there’s probably one or two names you could do this with: Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford.’”
On how Keanu Reeves came to snag the role, the producer continued: “My other best friend in the world, this guy Jimmy Darmody, is an agent at CAA, who at the time represented Keanu.
“And he said, ‘Do you have any action movies for Keanu Reeves?’ I remember thinking to myself, ‘Keanu is one of the great action stars of the last 25 years – what happened to him? What’s he been doing?’ And he was directing his movie, Man of Tai Chi, and doing 47 Ronin. We give him the script, we tell him, ‘Clearly, you’re not 75.’”
De Armas explained she interviewed “five or six female writers” and eventually hired Promising Young Woman director Emerald Fennell to join the project, which she said she “was so proud of”.
The release of John Wick: Chapter 4 has been delayed to March 24, 2023.