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Keanu Reeves explains how 'The Matrix' films informed the action-packed world of 'John Wick'
John Wick has officially swallowed the red pill.
It seems that fan favorite assassin John Wick swallowed the red pill somewhere between the third and fourth movies.
Chatting with Wired in a lengthy Q&A, John Wick star Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski reflected on their time spent on The Matrix films (Reeves playing Neo and Stahelski working as a stunt double/coordinator). When asked about the biggest creative lesson he learned from collaborating with Lilly and Lana Wachowski, Reeves listed "attention to detail, world-building, and having ideas as nourishment in your entertainment" as crucial takeaways that ultimately informed the John Wick films, particularly the upcoming Chapter 4. (The first three John Wick movies are streaming now on Peacock!)
"That exists in John Wick 4 too — the idea of freedom, the idea of choice with rules and consequences," the actor continued. "How are you trying to break out of the system? John Wick has got a cool thing because everyone is bad. They’re bad people. But they’re also super moral and ethical. Well, not even ethical, but there’s a code. You root for John Wick."
"No one was under any delusion that Matrix wasn’t going to be pretty awesome," Stahelski said. "Then David Leitch [co-director of the first Wick film] and I stayed on for V for Vendetta and Speed Racer, so we pretty much got a decade of Wachowski film school. The John Wicks are definitely children of The Matrix."
John Wick: Chapter 4 opens exclusively in theaters Friday, March 24. "Exclusively" is the operative word here, because Reeves and Stahelski remain wholeheartedly committed to the in-person moviegoing experience, which obviously took a massive hit during the pandemic. Indeed, next month's fresh installment was originally slated to be released last summer.
"Maybe it’s our generation, but I like seeing a movie in the cinema," Stahelski said. "Even if it’s meant for streaming eventually. It’s such a different experience."
"I think the power of cinema — part of it is its novelty, but also its scale," Reeves concluded. "You see a close-up of a wonderful performance with emotions and storytelling that touch you. Whether it’s horror or action or comedy, you’re seeing a face that’s, you know, 20 feet tall. Yeah. You’re, like, there. The intimacy of that."
A spinoff film, Ballerina, is currently in production under the directorship of Underworld alum, Len Wiseman. Reeves, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, and Anjelica Huston are all confirmed to be reprising their characters, joining Wick newcomers like Ana de Armas, Norman Reedus, Gabriel Byrne, and Catalina Sandino Moreno.
Refresh yourself on all the puppy snuggles and gunplay with the first three John Wick movies — now streaming on Peacock.