There have been a lot of great John Wick scenes over the course of the past decade, with each movie in the Keanu Reeves action franchise featuring at least a handful of moments that would earn a spot in an Oscar clip if he were nominated for Best Actor at the Academy Awards. But there is one moment from John Wick: Chapter 4 that director Chad Stahelski would love to see be included.
CinemaBlend recently sat down for an interview with the stuntman-turned-director to discuss everything from the developing Highlander reboot, to his highly anticipated Ghost of Tushima adaptation, as well as a number of other topics related to John Wick: Chapter 4 – like a ridiculous story involving dog pee and bullet holes. During this chat, we asked Stahelski what he’d like to see in Reeves’ Oscar clip if he was nominated, and he began with a tongue-in-cheek answer:
What would be the Oscar clip? There'd be, there'd be at least one ‘Yeah.’
After joking about the number of “Yeahs” he’d think make the cut in regards to Reeves’ limited amount of dialogue in John Wick: Chapter 4, the director offered up an incredibly emotional scene that he thought would be best suited for the clip. Stahelski explained that there is a moment early on in the wonderful Osaka Continental sequence where HIroyuki Sanada’s Shimazu Koji tells Wick that Charon (played by the late Lance Reddick) has been killed.
Instead of lashing out in rage, John Wick just tilts his head and provides a nuanced and subtle reaction to the death of his friend. And this, according to Stahelski, is a testament of the actor’s ability to provide emotion with nothing more than a look or slight reaction. Said the filmmaker,
He does a lot of subtleties. I love Keanu subtleties like the raised eyebrow, the tilted head. And I think that’s what we worked with a lot with [cinematographer] Dan Lausten, to always kind of shade one eye to pull back and use the lighting to really enhance what Keanu’s already great at, which are those micro expressions of personality and emotion. We find these great moments because when Keanu’s on the B side, when we’re over the other character's shoulder looking at Keanu, even though Keanu’s not saying much, I use a lot of him listening to people like the facial instead of over his shoulder. Because sometimes how Keanu reacts to what he’s listening to says more than what the other character’s saying.
Stahelski, whose history with Reeves goes back a quarter century (he was the actor’s stunt-double in The Matrix), compared the actor’s ability to “say more without dialogue” to what you would see in classic Samurai movies or even beloved silent films where the actors had to emote and progress the story without any dialogue.
In fact, Keanu Reeves only says 380 words across 103 lines of dialogue throughout John Wick: Chapter 4, according to the Wall Street Journal, which is wild to think about considering his character is in pretty much every scene in the nearly three-hour movie. This lack of dialogue proves to be one of the movie’s coolest aspects, especially with how the actor is able say so much despite barely speaking.
Though we don’t yet know if Keanu Reeves will be nominated for an Oscar or what the future holds for his iconic character following the John Wick: Chapter 4 ending, we still have the upcoming Ballerina spinoff to look forward to on the 2024 movie schedule. And who knows, maybe we’ll finally see a Best Stunt Oscar category at some point in the future.