JOHN WICK is a man of few words, and it is by design.
A report from The Wall Street Journal reveals that Keanu Reeves’ eponymous assassin says only 380 words across 103 lines of dialogue during the 169 minutes of John Wick: Chapter 4.
In fact, nearly a third of Reeves’ dialogue in the sequel consists of just one single word – “Yeah”.
The film’s director Chad Stahelski and Reeves apparently stripped out roughly half the dialogue written for the latter’s character in the initial draft of the script.
One pivotal scene in the film, which sees John Wick and the villainous Marquis de Gramont (played by Bill Skarsgaard) hash out the rules of their climactic duel, was originally scripted with Wick having 50% of the dialogue in the scene.
However, Reeves later “cut out chunks of dialogue”, so that John Wick only has a few one-word responses in the scene, including “pistol” and “no quarter.”
“It’s a shock when you work with him on how dedicated he is to not speaking,” the film’s co-screenwriter Michael Finch told The Wall Street Journal.
Wick’s longest run of dialogue in the movie is this sentence: “You and I left a good life behind a long time ago, my friend”, which he says during a largely one-sided conversation with Hiroyuki Sanada, who plays Shimazu Koji, the leader of the Osaka Continental Hotel.
But what the character lacks in dialogue, he more than makes up for in grueling action scenes that put Reeves’ body through the wringer, with the actor saying the film is the hardest action movie he’s ever made.
The dedication and attention the actor and the crew put into the film has paid off, with the film racking US$73.5 million (RM324.9 million) in its American opening weekend and US$64 million (RM282.9 million) from the 71 markets internationally for a total of US$137.5 million (roughly RM604.5 million).