Keanu Reeves Came Up With a ‘Creepy’ and ‘Hardcore’ Story Arc in ‘John Wick’ Films

Many people know Keanu Reeves for his sterling reputation as one of the nicest celebrities in all of Hollywood. Add to that his fun and happy-go-lucky characters in films like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and his hilarious portrayal of himself in Always Be My Maybe, and Reeves definitely comes across as a laid back guy.

While the stories about his kind heart and modest demeanor definitely dominate, it turns out that Reeves has a depth that extends into the dark and creepy. In fact, one of the creepiest storylines in the John Wick film franchise was Reeves’s idea. 

Keanu Reeves has a long and successful career 

Keanu Reeves attends the John Wick: Chapter 3 world premiere in New York City
Keanu Reeves | Mike Coppola/WireImage

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Reeves, who was born in 1964 in Beirut, Lebanon, has been acting since 1984. His earliest roles weren’t even named as he played parts like “Teen Client” and “Thug #1” in television series. He steadily climbed up the ranks, taking on larger parts in mostly unknown TV movies.

His big break came in 1989 when he took on the role of Ted in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The silly comedy was a smash hit and even landed Reeves voice work in a short-lived animated television spinoff as well as in live-action sequels. 

Reeves continued his steady if not necessarily groundbreaking work and had other big hits with Point Break in 1991 and Speed in 1994. It was hard to say exactly what genre best suited Reeves as he seemed equally at home in comedies as he did in heartbreaking dramas like A Walk in the Clouds (1995).

By the time he took on his most iconic role as Neo in The Matrix (1999), however, there was no doubt that action was where his star shined the brightest. 

‘John Wick’ reignited Keanu Reeves’ career

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Reeves was riding high from his fame after The Matrix, but a series of box office flops in the 2000s threatened to tank his career. That all changed with John Wick.

The 2014 thriller featured Reeves as the titular character, a former assassin who has lost his wife. When the Russian mob kills his dog and takes his prized gift from his late wife, John Wick taps back into the darker part of his illicit past to seek revenge. 

The film wasn’t designed to be a franchise, but its surprise success let creators know they had something special on their hands, so the sequels were put into the works. John Wick: Chapter 2 came out in 2017. John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum followed in 2019. Parts four and five are allegedly in the works with Chapter 4 tentatively slated for a 2022 release. 

A ‘creepy’ storyline from ‘John Wick’ was added by Keanu Reeves

When you’re talking about a story of bloody revenge against the Russian mob by a former hit man, there’s obviously going to be some dark moments. The films do not shy away from violence or suspense, and the dark parts of grief and vengeance tinge the entire story.

Still, there’s one scene in particular that stands out as especially creepy. 

In Chapter 2 of the franchise, John Wick was supposed to assassinate Gianna D’Antonio, but something about the scene just wasn’t coming together. According to ScreenRant, that’s when Reeves stepped in with an idea.

Instead of having John Wick kill the character, she would end her own life after stripping and stepping into the bath. Co-director Chad Stahelski explained: “I thought, that’s pretty hardcore. That’s a little creepy. I couldn’t get it out of my head. It fitted the Wick world – that’s just the way these people live.” 

Reeves’s creepy addition helped up the ante of the film’s drama. What else might he have up his sleeve for the next two films in the series?