John Wick: Chapter 4 director says first cut of the movie was almost 4 hours long: "My editorial staff probably hates me"
Director Chad Stahelski said his original cut of John Wick: Chapter 4 was three hours and 45 minutes long.
The initial cut of John Wick: Chapter 4 was almost four hours long.
Director Chad Stahelski was worried about the lengthy cut at first, even though he had been given no mandate about how long or short the project should be.
Stahelski told IndieWire: "To be really honest with you, zero was planned out. Our first cut was three hours and 45 minutes, and it felt like three hours and 45 minutes. We were like, oh, we're so screwed."
Editor Nathan Orloff had the task of cutting the movie down to 169 minutes and explained that he was able to make changes by keeping the plot focused on Keanu Reeves' titular assassin.
He said: "I wanted to make sure that he was still at the centre of the universe, that everything always led back to him even though we were cutting away from him."
Orloff revealed that he removed any content that was not essential from the initial cut.
He said: "You just compress, compress, compress. I went through a pass where anytime someone repeated an idea they had already expressed, I cut it out. No repeated ideas.
"It's a very linear story, so there wasn't a ton of reconstruction or rearrangement we could do. It was just a matter of sifting out what we didn't need."
The first John Wick movie was 96 minutes long, with the sequels, Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 — Parabellum, clocking in at 122 minutes and 143 minutes, respectively.
Stahelski described how the editing process led to several viewings of the entire film as he wanted to make sure the story was told at the correct pace.
He said: "My editorial staff probably hates me because even if we just took 30 seconds out of something, I'd make everybody watch the movie again.
"That's the only way you know you have the right pace. You feel that bump in movies all the time because they were doing it in pieces and not seeing it as a whole. The last thing you want to do is treat it as a bunch of parts."
Watch our exclusive interview with Reeves and Stahelski and the cast of John Wick: Chapter 4.
John Wick: Chapter 4 (M18) is now in cinemas. — BANG SHOWBIZ
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Related topicsHollywood Chad Stahelksi Keanu Reeves John Wick: Chapter 4
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