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The two MAJOR surprise choices for John Wick before Keanu Reeves
Photo: © ANP

The two MAJOR surprise choices for John Wick before Keanu Reeves

The two MAJOR surprise choices for John Wick before Keanu Reeves
Photo: © ANP

The character of John Wick was initially written for a much older actor, according to a book detailing the production of the 2014 action epic.

Keanu Reeves eventually won the role and enjoyed a career renaissance as a result, going on to play the character in John Wick: Chapter 2, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, and John Wick: Chapter 4.

However, in the book They Shouldn't Have Killed His Dog: The Complete Uncensored Oral History of John Wick, Gun Fu, and the New Age of Action, by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, it is explained that Clint Eastwood or Harrison Ford were initially envisioned as playing John Wick.

"One of my best friends is Charlie Ferraro at UTA, who sent me this script from Derek Kolstad called Scorn," producer Basil Iwanyk explains in the book.

"The lead was a seventy-five-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."

Reeves gets the role

Eventually, the script made its way to Reeves via his agent, and the Matrix and Speed star was immediately drawn to the character, and plot.

"Basil brought the script to me with the idea that I would be a part of such a great collaboration," Reeves says in the book.

"We all agreed on the potential of the project. It has this character of John Wick, but then you also have the real world, and at the same time this kind of underworld.

"This den of thieves that have this honor and a code. It has this emotional connection with John Wick, who's grieving, who's lost the love of his life and has this mythical dark past. And I loved the quest that he goes on to reclaim his life. And the world he moves through to do it."

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