It’s hard to imagine anyone else other than Keanu Reeves beating down bad guys in the role of John Wick.
According to a new book “They Shouldn’t Have Killed his Dog: the Complete Uncensored Oral History of John Wick, Gun Fu, and the New Age of Action” though, not only was the role of Wick thought of for someone else but someone much older.
A 75-year-old man to be exact!
The book, written by Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross, is a long look into the behind-the-scenes of how “John Wick” was created. Interviews and statements come from cast and crew as well as screenwriters and many others involved.
In a recent piece in Entertainment Weekly containing passages from the book it was revealed Derek Kolstad’s script was originally titled “Scorn” and revolved around a 75-year-old man. Producers were originally picturing Clint Eastwood or Harrison Ford in the lead role.
Franchise producer Basil Iwanyk recalls 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 this with Clint Eastwood and Harrison ford. 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 move.”
The screenplay prompted a bidding war and was handed to Keanu Reeves with a note reading “Clearly, you’re not 75.” The actor, 57, emotionally connected with the character, recounting in the book that he loved the idea of playing a man on a “quest to reclaim his life.” Reeves’ ultimate dedication to the role lead Kolstad to changing the character’s age in the script.
The decision has paid off as the successful series of films will gear up to release the fourth and fifth installments in the series, which were filmed back-to-back. Reeves will once again portray the titular character.
Reeves most recently brought back another of his iconic characters as Neo in 2021’s “The Matrix Resurrections.”
“They Shouldn’t Have Killed his Dog: the Complete Uncensored Oral History of John Wick, Gun Fu, and the New Age of Action” will be available July 19.