MOVIE NEWS – John Wick producer Basil Iwanyk had revealed that the vigilante was conceived initially as a much older man before Keanu Reeves came on board.
Try to imagine Clint Eastwood or Harrison Ford as John Wick! After all, franchise producer Basil Iwanyk originally envisioned one of them in the successful action film series. New information about the original film They Shouldn’t Have Killed His Dog has been revealed by Entertainment Weekly: The Complete Uncensored Oral History of John Wick, Gun Fu, and the New Age of Action, a new book by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman.
According to the book, screenwriter Derek Kolstad originally wrote the character of John Wick as a 75-year-old.
Somewhat similar to his FX series, The Old Man starring Jeff Bridges, the story was first written with a much older protagonist and followed the title character’s hitman years after his retirement before he gets back in the game. Iwanyk said that after reading the original script, he imagined Clint Eastwood or Harrison Ford in the lead role.
“One of my best friends is Charlie Ferraro at UTA, who sent me this script from Derek Kolstad called Scorn. The lead was a 75-year-old man, twenty-five years after being retired. It was the fun of watching Clint Eastwood kick ass. I thought, ‘Okay, there’s probably one or two names you could do this with: Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford.’ Other than that, I’m not sure how I put this movie together. But the tone of the script for John Wick was subversive and really fun. It has a very clear emotional through line and a great premise for an action movie.”
The story eventually changed after Keanu Reeves got involved. Early in the development of John Wick, Iwanyk was casually asked if there was an action movie role available for Reeves. Even though Reeves was much younger than the character was written, he was given the script to see if he would be interested in starring in the film.
“My other best friend in the world, this guy Jimmy Darmody, is an agent at CAA, who at the time represented Keanu. And he said, ‘Do you have any action movies for Keanu Reeves?’ I remember thinking to myself, ‘Keanu is one of the great action stars of the last 25 years – what happened to him? What’s he been doing?’ And he was directing his movie, Man of Tai Chi, and doing 47 Ronin.”
“We give him the script, we tell him, ‘Clearly, you’re not 75.'”
We now know that the decision to rejuvenate John Wick with Reeves in the role paid off, as the action film series was an incredible success. A fourth film is currently in the works, scheduled to be released on March 24, 2022, with a fifth film in the works.
Source: Entertainment Weekly