CHAPTER 4 Is Almost 3 Hours Long, But It Was Almost 4 Hours in Its First Cut — GeekTyrant
Mar 29, 2023
The upcoming sequel John Wick: Chapter 4 is, of course, super highly anticipated, seeing as how the John Wick franchise is among the most popular in movies these days. Fans are stoked to see each film, as director Chad Stahelski ups the ante with each action flick, and star Keanu Reeves pushes the limits to new heights with each story. But these films and their expanding lore aren’t made quickly and easily. In fact, the upcoming fourth chapter in the series, clocking in at 2 hours and 49 minutes, is actually largely condensed from its original run.In an interview with IndieWire, director Stahelski and the film’s editor, Nathan Orloff, Stahelski explained:“Our first cut was three hours and 45 minutes, and it felt like three hours and 45 minutes. We were like, oh, we’re so screwed.”Stahelski and Orloff knew that their initial cut had too much space, so the editor removed everything that wasn’t essential, explaining: “You just compress, compress, compress. I went through a pass where anytime someone repeated an idea they had already expressed, I cut it out. No repeated ideas. It’s a very linear story, so there wasn’t a ton of reconstruction or rearrangement we could do. It was just a matter of sifting out what we didn’t need.”Of course, that kind of compression is easier in theory than in practice, as Stahelski found that it wasn’t possible to cut any of the film’s 14 individual action sequences without affecting the whole. “You’ll never know if a five-minute car scene or a 10-minute car scene is good until you watch the whole movie.”Sometimes Stahelski and Orloff found that cutting a scene too short made the movie feel longer because it wasn’t the correct rhythm, which led to many, many viewings of the entire film to figure out the right balance. Stahelski said:“My editorial staff probably hates me because even if we just took 30 seconds out of something, I’d make everybody watch the movie again. That’s the only way you know you have the right pace. You feel that bump in movies all the time because they were doing it in pieces and not seeing it as a whole. The last thing you want to do is treat it as a bunch of parts.” Whatever they had to do, I know they did a great job. The John Wick movie franchise is a well-oiled machine at this point, and they’re going to go the extra mile to make sure each installment does the whole story justice. John Wick: Chapter 4 is set to be released in theaters this Friday, March 24th.
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