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John Wick 4 director on shooting Arc de Triomphe scene: 'That's a nice stress attack'

John Wick 4 director on shooting Arc de Triomphe scene: 'That's a nice stress attack'

Which of the many difficult-to-shoot and flat-out dangerous action sequences in the just-released John Wick: Chapter 4 really kept star Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski up at night? Trick question! Because of the film's shooting schedule, every sequence kept them up.

"We did a hundred nights," says Stahelski. "Even the interiors we shot at night because we were on a night schedule."

Stahelski does admit that the battle filmed at the Arc de Triomphe was particularly tough. The sequence finds John Wick, Mark Zaror's henchman Chidi, Shamier Anderson's mercenary Tracker, a large number of goons, and a dog engaging in mucho mayhem while dodging the traffic speeding around the Paris landmark.

John Wick Chapter 4
John Wick Chapter 4

Murray Close/Lionsgate

"There's no easy scene. There's no easy days. It's just how creative you get with problem-solving," says Stahelski. "But, logistically, the trickiest one was obviously the Arc de Triomphe. You can't just hope the dog doesn't get hit by a bus and hope your leads don't get run over."

In fact, Stahelski explains, capturing the sequence was even tougher than audiences might think.

"What people forget is, it's not just Keanu and stuntmen and Marko Zaror," he says. "I've got two camera crews in the middle of that traffic; I've got 50 stunt drivers from all over the world with five different languages. We're kind of rehearsing as we go because you just can't afford to have 300 cars in rehearsal four months out, so everybody's rehearsed in pieces, and then, on the day, you have to put all those pieces together, and then you really have to have faith that you can pull this off. How are we going to hit a dozen stuntmen in one shot? When you see those five guys all get hit by cars in the same shot without a cut, that's all real; we had to time that out with everybody. Those are five stuntmen taking the hits and five drivers timing it amongst 20 other drivers. If you want to give yourself a little bit of stress, that's a good way to do it. And if that doesn't get you, throw in a couple of dogs! And a bus! And if that still doesn't do it, have your lead actor drive 40 miles an hour in an open-door Barracuda against traffic! That's a nice stress attack."

The cast of John Wick: Chapter 4 also includes Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Rina Sawayama, Scott Adkins, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, and the late Lance Reddick.

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