Lance Reddick always wanted ‘what’s best’ for ‘John Wick’ franchise, director says
“Lance made every one of these better because of his presence.”
Warning: This article contains major spoilers for John Wick: Chapter.
At the start of the just-released John Wick: Chapter 4, Ian McShane‘s Winston, the manager of New York’s criminal-fraternity-welcoming Continental Hotel, is in trouble with the High Table for not properly murdering Keanu Reeves‘ titular hitman at the end of the previous movie. His punishment, as decreed by Bill Skarsgård‘s villainous Marquis de Gramont, is severe. The Marquis blows up the Continental and executes Winston’s friend and second in command: the hotel’s concierge, Charon, played by the late, great Lance Reddick.
Lance Reddick as Charon in John Wick Chapter 4
Lance Reddick in ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’
| Credit: Lionsgate
Reddick first played Charon in 2014’s franchise opener John Wick. According to filmmaker Chad Stahelski, who has directed all four John Wick films, the decision to kill the character was not taken lightly.
“Lance has been a big part of our crew since the very beginning,” said Stahelski, speaking to EW shortly before the news of Reddick’s death broke. “You never want to kill off a character just for a gag. You know, if you’re uncreative, and you can’t think of something cool to do, and you don’t know how to get a good emotional response, you kill them — we didn’t want anybody to think we were just doing that. But it’s hard to do a movie about death and fate and consequences when there are no consequences. We tried doing it without that scene. We wrote many different versions, where other characters had been terminated. No matter which character we tried to kill, it just didn’t come full circle as well as it did by having Winston sent on his own journey.”
Stahelski explains that he and Reddick spoke about his character’s death scene and final line for a long time before shooting the sequence.
“I didn’t want to just say ‘you’re going to die’ without thought,” said the director. “We talked about it for weeks and weeks. And Lance was like, ‘Well, can I at least say, “It was an honor to be with you, my friend?” Can I tie it in?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, dude. You’ve just got to be understanding of the cast and workshop with them and help them make sense of it, so it makes sense in the movie.'”
The director added, “Lance and Ian really put a lot of time and thought into it. That’s when you see the quality of character that Lance Reddick has. He understands and he’s willing to do what’s best for the film. Lance has made every one of these better because of his presence.”
John Wick: Chapter 4 is in theaters now.
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