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Trivia / John Wick

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  • Ability over Appearance: In the original script, the character of John Wick was written with "a man in his mid-sixties" to play the role, given the title character's fabled reputation, ergo, the filmmakers had initially imagined an older actor. However, head of Thunder Road Pictures, Basil Iwanyk, decided against this, stating, "Instead, we decided to look for someone who is not literally older, but who has a seasoned history in the film world."
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  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: An odd example. People often remember Wick using Guns Akimbo, and while he does, at several points, carry multiple weapons on his person, he never dual-wields. At all.
  • Career Resurrection: John Wick's "Yeah, I'm thinking I'm back!" line was pretty prophetic for what this film did to Keanu Reeves' career. At that point, it had been in the lurch following the end of The Matrix trilogy. Starring in things like the In Name Only film version of Constantine, forgettable romantic drama The Lake House and the tepidly received remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008). John Wick was seen by critics and audiences alike as a big return to form.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: In the Japanese dub, Iosef Tarasov is voiced by Yamato Kinjo, aka Nobuharu Udo/Kyoryu Blue from Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger.
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  • Completely Different Title: In Brazilian lands, the movie's called "Back To The Game".
  • Directed by Cast Member: In Zima's Latin American Spanish dub, Fabián Mejía is the ADR director as well as the voice of Winston.
  • Doing It for the Art:
    • Keanu Reeves was so enthusiastic about this project that he dedicated four full months to training in martial arts, firearms, and stunt driving in order to do as much of the action himself. He was also the one who pushed the directors to take this project because he felt that this was the movie that would give them their big break.
      • The scenes in the Red Circle were filmed while he was sick with the flu. According to the commentary, the directors couldn't even get him to sit down between takes.
    • The directors and stunt team responsible for this film initially made a name for themselves because they didn't merely show up to do whatever stunt they were told to do, but would study scripts and prepare and stage action sequences that would add to the story before pitching them to directors. This dedication led them to become one of the premiere 2nd unit teams in Hollywood and got them their shot at running a 1st unit with this film.
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  • Fake American: Keanu Reeves is Canadian.
  • Fake Russian: Alfie Allen (Iosef Tarasov) is English and Michael Nyqvist (Viggo Tarasov) is Swedish. Alfie also kinda falls under Fake American too since Iosef uses a New York accent when he speaks English.
  • Inspiration for the Work:
    • Chad Stahelski cited The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Point Blank, Le Cercle Rouge, and The Killer as influences for the film. Park Chan-wook's The Vengeance Trilogy and Lee Jeong-beom's The Man from Nowhere influenced the film due to their "minimalist composition and graphic nature."
    • Screenwriter Derek Kolstad said that he was hugely influenced by Alistair MacLean for world-building and Stephen King for characterisation, noting that King surprised readers with what a protagonist could be driven to.
  • No Stunt Double:
    • Reeves did most his own stunts and fights throughout the movie. Notable exceptions include John getting hit by Kirill's Car Fu and getting thrown off the balcony in the Red Circle (and even then, the balcony scene was made of two shots stitched together into one; most of the fall was Reeves dropped with wires, with the actual impact done by a stuntman dropped from a much lower height).
    • Adrianne Palicki did not use a double during Ms. Perkins' fight with Wick.
  • Playing Against Type: A put-upon mafia lawyer who can't stomach violence is not the kind of role you would expect to see Dean Winters playing.
  • Production Posse: Director Chad Stahelski was Keanu's stunt double in The Matrix and Constantine. Producer David Leitch also worked as a stunt performer on those movies. Randall Duk Kim, who played the Keymaker in The Matrix Reloaded, cameos as a doctor employed by the Continental. Mauve Shirt Kirill is played by Daniel Bernhardt, who also played Upgraded Agent Johnson in The Matrix Reloaded.
  • Reality Subtext: Keep in mind that outside of John's wife dying of cancer in the movie, Keanu Reeves became the primary caregiver for his sister when she was diagnosed with leukaemia. In addition to this, Keanu also experienced the passing of his stillborn daughter in 1999, and his ex-girlfriend Jennifer Syme, in 2001. If anybody understood what John Wick was going through, it was definitely Keanu.
  • Sleeper Hit: It was a low-budget action thriller predicted to gross eight million in its opening weekend, with strong competition from Ouija, and its status as an old-school action flick with a star on the verge of burnout didn't help stand. Instead, it opened at 14 million and matched Ouija over the next few months: great early reviews and strong word of mouth about the well-choreographed action scenes, genuinely refreshing script and incredibly cool characters/universe building turned into a $130 million worldwide financial success with a devoted fanbase and a sequel in 2017.
  • Swan Song: This would be Michael Nyqvist's last film role prior to his passing on June 27, 2017.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The first draft had Wick as an older man (late 60's to early 70's), and had a much lower bodycount. The lead role was written with Paul Newman in mind.
    • In the scene where Marilyn Manson's "Killing Strangers" plays, the song was originally going to be Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna Cut You Down".
    • John's fight with Viggo was originally going to be longer, but the directors thought it would strain plausibility if Viggo was too much of a challenge after John effortlessly shot his way through dozens of mooks in the rest of the movie. An alternate ending had John shooting Viggo dead during the finale, but this was deemed too anti-climatic.
    • The Car Fu sequence at the end was originally going to be a larger chase, but there wasn't enough budget for it.
    • Jason Isaacs was originally cast as Winston.
    • Perkins was originally a man.
  • Word of God: According to Directors Chad Stahelski and Dave Leitch in "HONEST REACTIONS: John Wick Directors React to The Honest Trailer!", there's an agreement between the city's police and criminals and assassins where as long as the latter two keep their killings and battles between themselves and don't kill civilians and police, the police will leave them alone. Hence why the police officer visiting John at his home doesn't look surprised when he sees dead bodies in his home and not arresting him.
  • Word of Saint Paul:
    • According to Michael Nyqvist, Viggo was born and raised in the slums of Kiev as a nobody, and slowly tore his way to the top of the Russian Mob.
    • According to Keanu Reeves, John Wick is ex-military and was trained as an assassin by Marcus. The former is more than just speculation, since the motto for the 3rd Marine Battalion can be seen on his back during his shower scene.
  • Working Title: Scorn.


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