Keanu Reeves Entirely Hijacked John Wick Against Original Plan After Stealing The Role From Clint Eastwood

Advertisement

John Wick’s script was initially written with a 75-year-old man as the titular character

John Wick was completely taken over by Keanu Reeves, which was not the original plan. The film was originally scheduled to be released under a different title, but the company decided to proceed with “John Wick” since the actor actively promoted the name of the titular character. It transpired after he expressed interest in playing the part and made a significant alteration to the movie script. It may come as a surprise to many that stars such as Clint Eastwood were considered when writing the original script. But in the end, it caught the former’s attention, and the rest is history.

The ‘John Wick’ Title is Keanu Reeves’ Work


John Wick scriptwriter, Derek Kolstad who also worked on its sequels, John Wick: Chapter 2 and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum revealed to Comicbook.com about the change in the movie name. Originally, the movie was titled ‘Scorn’ but Keanu Reeves kept taking the movie name wrongly in several public appearances.

Kolstad shared,

“The only reason it’s called John Wick is that Keanu kept referring to it as John Wick.”

The scriptwriter explained that the marketing team eventually went ahead with the new title since promoting it with its original title would have been too much of a hassle.

“Marketing was like, ‘Dude, that’s four to five million dollars in free advertising so far, so it’s John Wick instead of Scorn’. I can’t imagine it being Scorn now.”

Eventually, Reeves’ mistake of taking the names wrongly in several interviews led the movie to be named John Wick. Not just the name but Reeves has quite an influence on Scorn script’s original concept as the titular character was initially 75 years old, with actors like Clint Eastwood in mind for the role.

John Wick’s Script Was Written With Clint Eastwood in Mind

John Wick producer, Basil Iwanyk in his book, They Shouldn’t Have Killed His Dog: The Complete Uncensored Ass-Kicking Oral History of John Wick, Gun Fu, and the New Age of Action revealed that that lead character was “a 75-year-old man.” Considering the age, the role was written for actors like Harrison Ford or Clint Eastwood.

Advertisement

He wrote in the 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 a-s. I thought, ‘Okay, there’s probably one or two names you could do this with Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford.’”

He continued that the script got the Speed actor’s attention who made the changes to fit into the role.

“He read [the script] on a Friday, in 90 minutes, and was like, ‘I want to do it.’ At that moment, before I met and really clicked with him, I was like, ‘Yeah, I really want to do it, too.’ The first thing that Keanu said to me was, ‘Okay, Derek, I’m going to play him 35.’ And I’m like, ‘Fine.’”

His unwavering commitment ultimately persuaded the author to alter the character’s age to a younger one. The Neo celebrity “got his talons into [the script] and made it his own,” Kolstad claimed. In the end, he heightened the stakes by taking on the part of a retired hitman who ventures back into the shadowy world he once left only to become entangled in a series of incidents. When John Wick: Chapter 4 opened in theaters this summer, both critics and fans praised his performance more widely.

The fourth installment of the John Wick franchise is available to watch on Starz.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement