John Wick 4 alternative ending didn't go down well at cinema screening
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John Wick: Chapter 4 nearly had an alternative ending, but fans of the franchise were not too impressed during a test screening.
The latest instalment has gone on to be a box office smash, beating other big films like Scream VI, Creed and Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
However, director Chad Stahelski had initially been unsure how to end the fourth entry into the John Wick franchise.
Thankfully, things have seemingly worked out for the director, with John Wick: Chapter 4 grossing over $137.8 million (£111.8m) at the box office already.
In fact, the hitman film has been so well received it’s got an insane score of 95 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
Considering how few films even get close to that kind of rating on the Tomatometer, Stahelski should feel pretty happy with his decisions.
However, the stuntman turned filmmaker admitted that his alternative ending for the fourth film was ‘a little sketchy’. (Major spoilers ahead)
Speaking about John Wick 4’s ending, Stahelski admitted that he’d initially wanted to tease fans about a possible fifth film.
The current ending sees the retired hitman (played by Keanu Reeves) die after a bitter final battle, with John Wick succumbing to his injuries.
At his funeral, we see The Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) and Winston Scott (Ian McShane) with the assassin’s beloved dog.
However, the scene cuts to the puppy looking upwards as if he’d seen his master – hinting at his survival.
But this wasn't always how the movie was going to end.
Stahelski told The Hollywood Reporter: “It was a little sketchy during test screenings. I haven’t told too many people this, but we did additional photography and shot a different ending.
"There was a different way to do [the funeral scene], and we wanted it to be a little bit more mysterious. That’s why you see the puppy look up at the end.”
Stahelski declined to spell out exactly what happened in the alternative ending, but apparently test audiences weren’t too impressed.
Although Stahelski had been prepared to use either ending, the intense reaction during the test screening made it clear which one he had to go with.
He said: "We did one test screening, and the audience revolted pretty hard about [the new ending].
"So, we thought that we nailed it the first time, and to the studio’s credit, they didn’t even blink."
Whilst Lionsgate might not be happy that its biggest franchise is wrapping up for now, the director and cast were thrilled with how the film played out.
Stahelski said he was delighted with the test screening for the original ending, saying that the production team high-fived each other afterwards.
He told THR: “We all saw the reactions, and we all high-fived each other and said, ‘We have a good movie.'"
Featured Image Credit: Lionsgate
Topics: Keanu Reeves, TV and Film, Celebrity, John Wick