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SYFY WIRE David Leitch

Here's Why The First John Wick Movie Spent Around $5,000 On CGI Dog Poop

You can get away with a lot in Hollywood, but feeding a puppy laxatives is way beyond the pale.

By Josh Weiss

You can get away with a lot in Hollywood, but feeding a puppy laxatives is considered way beyond the pale.

And yeah, we get it. That's straight-up animal abuse and would never fly with the American Humane Association. So what do you do when you absolutely need to show a creature defecating onscreen? Well, you turn to CGI, of course, though the resultant digital imagery may end up taking a crap-load (pun intended) out of your overall production budget. 

For More on John Wick:
Everything We Know So Far About a Possible John Wick: Chapter 5
The Continental Director on "Reverse Engineering" Ian McShane and Lance Reddick’s Characters for John Wick Spinoff
John Wick 4 Had Alternate Ending With Keanu Still Alive - But Test Audiences Didn't Like It

The First John Wick Movie Dropped Big Money on CGI Dog Poop

John Wick (Keanu Reeves) sits on a couch while holding a beagle puppy in John Wick (2014)

In the commentary track for the original John Wick movie, director Chad Stahelski and co-director/producer David Leitch reveal that the turd dropped by John's ill-fated beagle puppy, Daisy — may she Rest In Peace — was entirely brought to life with VFX and cost around $5,000. That's one expensive deuce!

"They wouldn't let us give laxatives to the puppy," Stahelski says (/FILM were first to point this out this fun bit of fecal trivia).

"Actually, we turned that shot back in about 25 times," Leitch adds.

Stahelski continues: "Yeah, the poop just wasn't makin' it."

This exchange was most likely a joke between the filmmakers, but we wouldn't put it past a franchise known for its meticulous fight choreography to agonize over a single shot of puppy scat.

The John Wick saga lives on with The Continental: From the World of John Wick, now streaming on Peacock. Serving as a prequel to the hit blockbuster films, the show explores how a young Winston Scott (played by Colin Woodell) took control of the assassin-centric hotel in '70s-era New York.

John Wick Chapters 1-3 are now streaming on Peacock alongside the prequel series, The Continental: From the World of John Wick.

Originally published Aug 28, 2023.