John Wick 4 director Chad Stahelski explains why forthcoming sequel is longest film yet in the action franchise.
The John Wick movies are getting longer and longer. The first movie – which revolved around the titular former assassin’s efforts to avenge the death of his beloved dog – clocked in at 101 minutes.
The second movie – John Wick: Chapter 2 – expanded the world, and ran to 122-minutes. While the third instalment – John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum – had a longer title AND a longer run-time, checking out at 131-minutes.
Here director Chad Stahalski explains why John Wick 4 – which is currently just a working title – will be even longer than that.
Why John Wick 4 will be longest John Wick movie yet
When asked about the run-time by website Collider, Stahelski said: “It has the longest runtime of all the movies,” before adding, “Hopefully, it won’t feel the longest of all the movies.”
Stahelski then explained why John Wick 4 will be so long: “We know there’s a certain kind of pacing for action movies. We get that there’s this certain kind of appetite. Luckily, we have a little bit of margin because we have a little bit of world-building with the action in John Wick.”
“Look, I’ve watched this thing now, this version of the cut, close to 100 times, and another 100 by the end of the month at least… and I don’t get bored at all. It’s my own film. I know it’s weird to say, but I watch it and I was like, ‘Oh, I’m still in the movie.’ It doesn’t take me out. I don’t ever feel like, ‘F**k, just end this thing already. I can’t watch it again.’ You know what I mean?
“Other than my other misgivings of choices, and scenes, and writing all that stuff, I feel pretty good about it. Keanu [Reeves] and I, and the really tight circle that I have around us, we’ve watched it every week. We have a little group. ‘Let’s just watch it one more time to make sure we’re not talking ourselves into something.'”
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Sequel is longer because JW4 is “a bigger movie”
In terms of pressure to cut the film down, Stahelski tells Collider: “As long as that gut-feeling feels good, what else do you go with? I can’t go off somebody else’s gut-feeling. I’ve had people who I trust and know say, ‘Well, it’s too long. Cut 20 minutes out.’ And you’re like, ‘Okay, that’s your feeling, that’s your opinion.’ If I go with anybody else’s opinion other than mine, which I haven’t done in any other decision in the movie, where’s that going to go?
“We wrote a longer movie. We wrote a bigger movie. We wrote a longer script. We wrote at least a third more scenes than the last one. We expect it to be more. We’ve always expected it to be more. And I think the test, or at least what we’re judging ourselves by, is if it’s worth it with how we executed what we want it to be more of or not? I think the answer’s yes.
“If I watched it and I start looking at my watch I know it’s time to cut. But I don’t look at my watch in this. So I feel pretty good where it’s at.”
John Wick 4 will hit screens next March, and you can read everything we know about the movie here.