SPOILERS FOR JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4. Chad Stahelski explains the different ways the action spectacle could have ended.
SPOILERS FOR JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4 BELOW
John Wick: Chapter 4 has the feel of a final chapter as the story of Mr. Wick has seemingly concluded. However, the film’s massive success is making the studio, Lionsgate, yearn for more. There is a Continental prequel series and a spin-off titled Ballerina on the way, but the studio enthusiastically wants to make more with Reeves in tow.
If you’ve seen the movie, you know the ending seemingly brought an end to John Wick’s journey of revenge and retribution. However, it can be interpreted either way if Wick was actually laid to rest or not. Chad Stahelski, the maestro behind the series, revealed on Collider that there were actually multiple endings shot. There’s an ending with extra bits that optimistically shows you that John had indeed survived the duel, then the one that’s in the final cut, which is left more ambiguous. He let test audiences decide which ending to use for the theatrical release.
Stahelski explained how he argued for the ending to Lionsgate and how, ultimately, they supported his vision: “I’ll tell you what, I’ll shoot the ending two ways, you know, with one extra little thing, two extra little shots. I’ll let you know he’s alive, and I’m gonna leave it up to the audience to decide, and we’re gonna test both.’ […] And they were super cool. They let me go through the whole movie. […] … and you know, the test audience has definitely had a favorite of that, which is the ending that you guys saw…”
The world of Wick is rich with characters that can continue the franchise without having Reeves explicitly return. Chapter 4 is especially ripe with these characters, as even star Donnie Yen has ideas for a Caine spin-off. Audiences also responded well to the debut of Rina Sawayama and her character Akira, which the producer also wants to explore.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/john-wick-chapter-4-alternate-ending-test-audiences/