John Wick: Chapter 4 director likens Keanu Reeves to Gene Kelly in ‘musical’ fight scenes

Virgin Radio

7 Mar 2023, 12:27

(L-R) Keanu Reeves, Chad Stahelski

Credit: Getty

John Wick is a franchise known for its bombastic action sequences, and the latest flick in the franchise, John Wick: Chapter 4, is no exception. 

Keanu Reeves is back as the titular assassin in the latest high-octane offering, which sees the protagonist uncover a path to defeating the High Table, but before he is able to earn his freedom, he must face off against a new enemy, the Marquis de Gramont, played by Bill Skarsgård. 

Those intense fight scenes, and the franchise as a whole, have had former stuntman Chad Stahelski at the helm as director, so he knows a thing or two about choreographing those violent spectacles. 

Speaking to and other press at the UK premiere of John Wick: Chapter 4 in London last night (6th March) director Chad revealed how they go about curating such unforgettable fight scenes, and why Keanu had to hone in on his dance skills during those ‘gun-fu’ moments. 

When asked how he comes up with his explosive fight scenes, Chad explained: “I'm a huge musical fan, if that makes sense. Big Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Bob Fosse fan. So we approach it like dance, just like a great dance choreographer. 

“What's the set piece? What's the story we're trying to tell? What's the arc of the character? We have some amazing people that all really, really want to do something new and fresh. So that was a big motivator.”

Chad then jokingly added that “Keanu was our Gene Kelly,” and while The Matrix icon did argue otherwise on the red carpet, he also likened the scenes to something you might see in theatre instead. 

“We're dealing with choreography,” Keanu said. “Sometimes I'm solo, sometimes it's a group. So I'm really…if we're going to go in that context, it's really like a dance troupe for sure.”

Meanwhile, returning as John Wick is something of a routine for Keanu, having suited up for the fourth time. 

When discussing how he gets into ‘John Wick Mode’, the Hollywood star shared: “I mean, there's the training of it, so just kind of come up to the mat, give yourself the cross and go to work. And then filming, just put the suit on, put shoes on, get the tie right, put the watch on, gear up.”

John Wick: Chapter 4 is set to arrive in cinemas on 24th March, 2023.