In a recent episode of THR’s ‘Behind the Screen,’ director Chad Stahelski, cinematographer Dan Laustsen, and editor Nathan Orloff share their experiences working on “Chapter 4” of the film series. They discuss the difficulties they faced and the strategies they used to shoot action sequences in famous landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the steep steps leading to the Sacré Cœur. The episode offers a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process and the intricate work involved in bringing these intense and visually stunning scenes to life.
The director of “John Wick: Chapter 4,” Chad Stahelski, has shown interest in making a fifth film in the well-liked Assassin series with Keanu Reeves. “Chapter 4” has been incredibly successful, earning over $245 million worldwide within its second weekend. This has prompted Stahelski and Lionsgate to explore the idea of continuing the franchise. The exceptional performance of the latest movie has built excitement for more exciting and action-packed stories featuring the beloved character of John Wick.
Stahelski stated in a recent episode of THR’s Behind the Screen podcast, “It’s very flattering for them to come back and, you know, say we want more, and it’s not just a cash grab. It’s legitimately the audience wants more. Stahelski mentioned that he believes it’s important to take some time to reflect and explore new possibilities before making a decision about the future of the John Wick franchise. He shared that he and Keanu Reeves remain open to the idea of continuing the series if they come up with a compelling idea, even if they initially thought they were done with it.
Joe Drake, the chair of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, has expressed a willingness to explore the idea of making a fifth installment in the John Wick franchise. This decision is based on the strong box office performance of John Wick 4 and the desire to continue the story in a credible way.
In the podcast episode, director Chad Stahelski is accompanied by acclaimed cinematographer Dan Laustsen and editor Nathan Orloff to discuss the making of John Wick 4. They provide valuable insights into the filmmaking process, including the challenges and techniques used while filming in diverse locations such as Japan, France, Jordan, Germany, and New York.
This involves a discussion of the action sequences featured in the film, including an exciting scene set near the iconic Arc de Triomphe in Paris and a gripping sequence on the 270 steps leading to the Sacré Cœur Basilica. The podcast episode provides a closer look at the behind-the-scenes aspects of filming these action-packed sequences, highlighting the creative decisions made to capture the thrill and intensity portrayed in those moments on screen.
While scouting at the top of Sacré Cœur, as the sun was setting, the director and the team noticed the stairs leading down and thought, ‘Someone should go down there.’ They decided that it would be John Wick who fights his way up the stairs. The plan was to create an intense scene where he gets thrown back down but then teams up with Donnie Yen’s character, Caine, in a thrilling showdown like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. They wanted to add Western-style music and have John Wick fight all the way to the top, creating a connection between the characters before their final confrontation at the summit.
Stahelski also discusses their approach to the night scene on the steps, explaining that they wanted to create a chilling and eerie atmosphere similar to “The Exorcist” movie. To achieve this, they used practical lighting from lamp posts and employed cranes to enhance the lighting and overall atmosphere of the scene.
Furthermore, the team delved into the detailed camera techniques utilized in the film. They mentioned the use of Steadicam, handheld shots, and Spydercam, particularly for capturing the fall sequence. Stahelski emphasized the remarkable physicality of the Steadicam operator, who ran alongside Keanu Reeves while carrying a camera rig weighing 120 pounds as he ascended the steps.
During the conversation, Stahelski, who has experience as a stunt performer, expressed his thoughts on the potential for stunts to have their own category at the Oscars. He believes that there is a valid case for stunts to be recognized in this way. However, he acknowledged that the challenge may lie in the limited conversation and awareness surrounding the topic.
Stahelski highlighted that in his extensive 35-year career, he has never observed any meaningful interaction between stunt professionals and members of the Academy. There has been a noticeable absence of engagement between the stunt community and the Academy. Stahelski emphasized that addressing this lack of communication and involvement is crucial in order to initiate a productive conversation about establishing a separate Oscar category for stunts.
He adds, “I think the issue really is to get down at the table and ask the Academy, how