As John Wick Chapter 4 is set to be released in cinemas this weekend, the action franchise has come a long way. A decade ago. Keanu Reeves’ career had seen bigger heights when he signed on for what would become the first John Wick movie. A hitman revenge thriller with B-movie vibes that was almost shut down just weeks before filming began, the film struggled to even secure cinema distribution.
The reason for the studio’s lack of interest was that executives were dismissive of an action movie made by first-time directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. On top of this, they were concerned by Reeves’ most recent films underperforming at the box office.
In the end, Lionsgate Films purchased the distribution rights, saving John Wick from straight-to-DVD limbo just two months before the film hit cinemas in October 2014.
The marketing campaign kicked off and managed to help transform the film’s image from a trashy action flick to a decent thriller with star embarking on his Keanaissance. Yet did you know the movie had a totally different name before Reeves stopped using it?
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John Wick creator Derek Kolstad’s original script was called Scorn. However, Reeves kept on calling the movie “John Wick” during the marketing.
The screenwriter previously told ComicBook: “The only reason it’s called John Wick is that Keanu kept referring to it as John Wick. 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.”
To the star’s credit, the title change has worked a treat as his character has become a seriously popular IP franchise with each movie being more successful than the previous.
John Wick: Chapter 4 hits cinemas on Friday.