1 Clint Eastwood Trilogy Is Responsible For Keanu Reeves’ Reduced Dialogue In ‘John Wick 4’


The decision to prioritize action over words for Chapter Four was inspired by Sir Sergio Leone’s iconic work that revitalized Westerns.

Interestingly, for the longest entry in the franchise that almost ticked the 3-hour mark, John Wick 4 comprises the least amount of dialogue for Keanu Reeves, with most of them being either “Woah” or “Yeah”. But the lack of words from Reeves didn’t hinder the quality of the film as it added more to the character of John Wick, which isn’t uncommon for such hardboiled characters in cinema.

And reflecting on this facet of the character, director Chad Stahelski revealed they took a page from one of the most badass characters in fiction that revitalized Westerns in the ’60s.

John Wick: Chapter 4 Took a Page From Clint Eastwood’s Dollars Trilogy

Sir Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy, often credited for reinvigorating the Western genre, introduced the world to the Man with No Name, which made Clint Eastwood an icon. And for John Wick, Chad Stahelski revealed that they decidedly wanted to follow in the Man with No Name’s footsteps, who rarely spoke in the Dollars Trilogy. Similar to Eastwood in the iconic trilogy, we only get to hear a handful of words from Keanu Reeves, 380 to be exact, as Stahelksi let the action and the “woah”s and “Yeah”s do the heavy lifting. He explained

“We decidedly wanted to do like the Man with No Name, thing from all the Leone and the Eastwood stuff. And Keanu is such a big screen actor, a little eyebrow raise means quite a bit, and I think he has at least two dozen different ways to say ‘Woah’ “


Fans would agree that going this route was definitely the correct choice, as we’ve previously seen with films like Sicario, fewer words can elevate a character by adding another layer to it.

Clint Eastwood Was Initially Considered to Headline John Wick Before Keanu Reeves

Prior to Keanu Reeves taking the iconic gig in one the best action franchises of the modern era, the Man with No Name himself was considered to lead the initial draft of John Wick. Unlike the movie we ended up getting, the original draft, written by Derek Kolstad, witnessed a 75-year-old retired hitman, for which Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford were initially considered. Producer Basil Iwanyk recalled in his book (via EW),

“One of my best friends is Charlie Ferraro at UTA, who sent me this script from Derek Kolstad called ‘Scorn.’ The lead was a 75-year-old man, 25 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.’”

But as the story goes, the plan was dropped, and Keanu Reeves was brought in to headline the movie, for whom the script was tweaked in order to fit the actor.