‘John Wick’ series director Chad Stahelski talks friendship with “older brother” Keanu Reeves


John Wick: Chapter 4 killed it at the box office the world over this weekend, with an estimated $137.5 million debut.

To Good Morning America, franchise director Chad Stahelski looked back at his earliest days with the dude in the bulletproof suit, Keanu Reeves.

The former stuntman turned filmmaker was Keanu’s stunt double – Brad Pitt‘s, too, hence his cameo in Deadpool 2 and his leading role in Brad’s recent hit Bullet Train. He and Keanu first met around 1999, Stahelski recalled. “I got the job thinking it was this little sci-fi action movie — and it was not. It’s The Matrix."”

The now-54-year-old director went on to work with Keanu for Constantine, and they stayed close; Chad even helped Reeves with his directorial debut, 2013’s Man of Tai Chi.

“There was a massive mentorship going on there, like learning and growing and becoming a better performer, a better stunt person, better stunt coordinator, better choreographer,” Stahelski said, seeing Keanu, now 58, as an “older brother” figure.

It was Reeves who brought Stahelski the first John Wick script.

“It was a bit of an odd script. Puppy dies and this guy goes on a rampage,” Stahelski recalled. “And he’s like, ‘Do you have a take on this? We can’t quite crack it."”

Chad said, “I had this take on Greek mythology and how to blow it out and be this surreal love letter to action movies, embracing the idea, ‘don’t worry about making a movie, but make a myth and make a legend."”

The rest, as they say, is history: By comparison to Chapter 4’s $75.3 domestic opening, 2014’s original John Wick opened to just $14 million.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.