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SYFY WIRE John Wick: Chapter 4

The canine companion in 'John Wick: Chapter 4' had the most stunts of any dog in the franchise

Moral of the story: Don't EVER mess with man's best friend.

By Josh Weiss
John Wick: Chapter 3 (2019)

With each chapter in the John Wick franchise, it's not only Keanu Reeves' titular hitman who becomes more ferocious — it's also his canine companions. Sitting down with Collider to discuss John Wick: Chapter 4 (out in theaters this March), director Chad Stahelski revealed that the latest dog to board the nearly 10-year-old film series required the most stunts of any pup featured so far.

"We learned a lot from last time, but we wanted a little bit more out of this one in specialty stuff," he explained. "We had the dog, I think it was just over five months, to work with cast and on stunts. It's just when you're bringing in the stunt teams, and we have different stunt teams on this one because it's so much bigger, the dog is just like friends. You have to get to know your friends. So in order for the dog to be very playful, and safe, and have the confidence just like a human would, they have to spend time with each individual stunt guy."

The 10 principal members of the stunt team would play with the pooch in hour-long shifts, building up a relationship and rapport with the trained animal. "That was his job," Stahelski continued. "He had to go play with the dogs, and get tackled by the dogs, and play Frisbee with the dog. So you get acclimated to our canine friend and then that's how we started working it."

Co-written by Shay Hatten (Army of the Dead) and Michael Finch (Predators), Chapter 4 also stars Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, Lance Reddick, Rina Sawayama, and Scott Adkins. Besides fronting the film, Reeves also serves as an executive producer alongside Louise Rosner, David Leitch, and Michael Paseornek. Stahelski is a producer with Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee.

Speaking with IGN, Stahelski (who has helmed all four entries) discussed how he tries to push himself with every sequel.

"It starts with me," he said. "So if you want a better John Wick 5, I've got to get better. I have to learn some tricks as a director, I have to try new lenses. I have to learn how to edit. I have to learn how to shoot better. I have to learn how to talk to my cast better. I have to be able to go out and take meetings and cast my movies better to get the best actors I can."

John Wick: Chapter 4 arrives on the big screen March 24, 2023. Ballerina, a spinoff project with Reeves, McShane, and Ana de Armas, recently kicked off production in Prague. And soon, Peacock will become the home of the John Wick Extended Universe with The Continental, a prequel series about a young Winston (played in the films by McShane).

Looking for more action and adventure? Peacock has a slew of titles to get your heart rate up, including The Fast and the Furious, Ambulance, and Flashpoint.