Keanu Reeves said less than 400 words in his newly released movie, “John Wick: Chapter 4,” despite its nearly three-hour runtime, according to a report.
A report by The Wall Street Journal revealed that the 58-year-old actor’s character, the legendary hitman John Wick, uttered only 380 words across 103 lines of dialogue during the fourth “John Wick” movie, which has a runtime of 169 minutes.
In the fourth installment, 27.1% of Reeves’ lines consisted of just a single word each, and the most notable catchphrase was the word, “Yeah.”
In comparison, the actor said a total of 484 words in the first “John Wick” movie, which was released in 2014 and ran for about 101 minutes.
“Chapter 4’s” trailer already featured about 10% of Reeves’ lines, which made his character appear “chatty.” But he uttered more words in the trailer than “in the first 25 minutes of the movie itself,” WSJ noted.
“John Wick: Chapter 4” director Chad Stahelski explained that Reeves removed roughly half of the dialogue written for his character in the initial script. This includes the scene in which John Wick and Marquis de Gramont, a villain played by Bill Skarsgård, negotiate the rules of their single-combat duel, according to the outlet.
Reeves’ character originally had 50% of the dialogue in the scene, but his lines were ultimately stripped down to only a few one-word responses such as “pistol” and “no quarter.”
“He isn’t just stoic,” Stahelski added. “He’s mysterious, and the mystery lets the audience fill in the gaps.”
The film’s co-screenwriter Michael Finch told the Journal of Reeves, “It’s a shock when you work with him how dedicated he is to not speaking.”
Collectively, the outlet’s tally showed that John Wick uttered an average of four words per line in scenes where he confronts his attackers across Morocco, Japan, Germany and France, remaining mostly silent throughout the 169-minute-long film.
His longest uninterrupted speech in the movie consisted of only one sentence. “You and I left a good life behind a long time ago, my friend,” John Wick said to his comrade and the leader of the Osaka Continental Hotel, Shimazu Koji (Hiroyuki Sanada).
“John Wick: Chapter 4” has the longest runtime in the franchise, followed by “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” with 131 minutes, “John Wick: Chapter 2” with 122 minutes, and the first “John Wick” with 101 minutes.
But while “Chapter 4” has the leanest dialogue by the main character, the gaps are tremendously filled with action scenes, so it’s no surprise that it became one of the hardest action movies Reeves had made in his career.
“‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ was the hardest physical role I’ve ever had in my career so far,” Reeves told Total Film in January. “They really trained me up to be able to have what we call the toolbox,” adding that he also had to improve his stunt-driving skills for several scenes shot in Paris, France.
“We took the car-driving to the next level, which I really enjoy. There’s 180s, forward-into-reverse 180s, reverse-into-forward 270s, drifting. … So it was really fun to get a chance to learn those skills, and to play,” he said.
“John Wick: Chapter 4” immediately became a blockbuster hit, collecting a total of $137.5 million from the domestic and global box office during its opening weekend. It’s currently Lionsgate studio’s biggest opening for an action series so far.
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