John Wick: Chapter 4 has an alternate ending that made test screening audiences “revolt”.
According to the film’s director, Chad Stahelski, test screenings got “a little sketchy” as an alternate ending left audiences unhappy. Revealing that the hit action film’s cinema cut has another ending, Stahelski told The Hollywood Reporter that the reaction from these test runs made an important decision on the theatrical cut for him.
“It was a little sketchy during test screenings. I haven’t told too many people this, but we did additional photography and shot a different ending,” he revealed to the outlet. “There was a different way to do [the funeral scene], and we wanted it to be a little bit more mysterious. That’s why you see the puppy look up at the end.”
However, while Stahelski declined to spell out exactly what happened in the alternative ending, he explained what helped him to make the decision on how the film should end. Speaking about the test screens, he said that the invited audiences weren’t too impressed.
The director said: “We did one test screening, and the audience revolted pretty hard about [the new ending]. So, we thought that we nailed it the first time, and to the studio’s credit, they didn’t even blink.”
Though Lionsgate are still itching for more John Wick films, the director and cast were thrilled with how this fourth film has played out – given Keanu Reeves and Stahelski aren’t entirely sure on John Wick’s future.
Stahelski said he was delighted with the test screening for the original ending, saying that the production team high-fived each other afterwards. He added: “We all saw the reactions, and we all high-fived each other and said, ‘We have a good movie’.”
Stahelski seemingly made the right choice when it came to endings, as John Wick: Chapter 4 hailed as one of the best action films ever made in early reviews.
The film follows Wick on yet another adventure as the unlucky but supremely skilled assassin as the price on his head continues to go up and up. As NME said in its four star review, expect “an all-action blockbuster that truly gives its all”.