There is little doubt that John Wick: Chapter 4 had a straightforward ending that left viewers feeling emotional. However, it looks like the action-packed sequel almost had a very different conclusion. Director Chad Stahelski has revealed the alternate ending that would have changed the fate of Keanu Reeves' character.
In John Wick: Chapter 4, John is fatally injured by Caine but he still manages to kill the Marquis Vincent de Gramont. After the Harbinger declares John and Caine free of debt from the High Table, John reflects on his life and succumbs to his wounds. He is later buried beside his wife Helen.
It certainly was a fitting conclusion for John and Chad Stahelski confirmed this is the original ending he and Keanu Reeves wanted for the character. He did, however, reveal that they had shot an alternate ending that would have left viewers mystified.
"I haven’t told too many people this, but we did additional photography and shot a different ending. It wasn’t at the duel, but we did reveal that John Wick … There was a different way to do [the funeral scene], and we wanted it to be a little bit more mysterious. That’s why you see the puppy look up at the end [during the funeral scene]," Stahelski told The Hollywood Reporter.
"So there was another thing that we tested, and we were open to testing both [endings] because Keanu and I just wanted to make a good movie," he continued. "We just wanted to feel what was most satisfying. So we did one test screening, and the audience revolted pretty hard about [the new ending shot during additional photography]. So we thought that we nailed it the first time, and to the studio’s credit, they didn’t even blink. That night, literally in the theater, we all got it. We all saw the reactions, and we all high-fived each other and said, 'We have a good movie.'"
Stahelski then shared that the studio let him and Reeves make the final decision about the conclusion of John Wick: Chapter 4.
"So Lionsgate said, 'Let’s go with the ending that you guys feel strongest about,' but initially, they were like, 'What the f*ck?' Then, when they saw how we did it and how the movie came together, people got behind it because it chokes you up at the end," Stahelski concluded.
John Wick: Chapter 4 is now screening in theaters worldwide.