Ahead of its March 24 debut, a record-breaking runtime for Keanu Reeves' John Wick 4 has been revealed.
The Lionsgate gun-fu franchise has quickly become one of the most beloved (and bankable) action movie names in modern history, being partly responsible for a revitalization of Keanu Reeves' acting career.
Now with Chapter 4 on the way, along with a pair of spin-offs in the Ana de Armas-led Ballerina and the Continental streaming series, the world of Reeves' stoic hitman is bigger than ever.
How Long is John Wick 4?
According to Collider, John Wick: Chapter 4 will be the longest film in the Keanu Reeves-led franchise.
The film will clock in at 2 hours and 49 minutes, making it nearly a half hour longer than John Wick 3 (2 hours, 11 minutes) and 47 minutes longer than John Wick 2 (2 hours, 2 minutes).
This nearly three-hour movie is a far cry from the franchise's humble beginnings, with the first John Wick film sporting a brisk 1-hour-41-minute runtime.
Chapter 4 director Chad Stahelski previously stated that despite the upcoming sequel being the longest in the franchise he has watched it "close to 100 times," yet "[doesn’t] get bored at all:"
"Look, I’ve watched this thing now, this version of the cut, close to 100 times, and another 100 by the end of the month at least. And this is the first one that we watch. I don’t get bored at all. It’s my own film. I know it’s weird to say, but I watch it, and I was like, 'Oh, I’m still in the movie.' It doesn’t take me out. I don’t ever feel like, 'Fuck, just end this thing already. I can’t watch it again.' You know what I mean?"
Stahelski noted he "[feels] pretty good about it," as he and a group (including Keanu Reeves) tweak the film every nearly every viewing:
"Other than my other misgivings of choices, and scenes, and writing all that stuff, I feel pretty good about it. Keanu [Reeves] and I, and the really tight circle that I have around us, we’ve watched, every week. We have a little group. 'Let’s just watch it one more time to make sure we’re not talking ourselves into something.'”
The director made it clear that they "wrote a bigger movie," so the run time makes sense:
"If I go with anybody else’s opinion other than mine, which I haven’t done in any other decision in the movie, where’s that going to go? I mean, we wrote a longer movie. We wrote a bigger movie. We wrote a longer script. We wrote at least a third more scenes than the last one. We expect it to be more. We’ve always expected it to be more. And I think the test, or at least what we’re judging ourselves by, is that worth it with how we executed what we want it to be more or not? And I think the answer’s yes."
John Wick: Chapter 4 Is Huge
While the first three John Wick films did a fantastic job of upping the ante with each sequel, sporting new and exciting action sequences while also slowly building out the world that this franchise has become known for, John Wick: Chapter 4 looks like it is going to break wholly new ground.
With the announcement of the pair of John Wick spin-off projects, this series has become a bloody R-rated MCU-style franchis.
Surely, with this elevated runtime in Chapter 4, all sorts of narrative foundations will be laid to be pulled upon somewhere down the line either in the mainline franchise or in a potential spin-off.
In the January issue of Total Film, series star Keanu Reeves has teased "the most action of any of the [John Wick] films," so fans should not be worried about the film getting weighed down with some world-building agenda.
But it will seemingly present this action (including a sequence that Reeves says involves something he calls "car-fu") while also balancing that elevated greater narrative-weaving responsibility.
Now, fans have one question to ask. Will the eventual John Wick 5 be even bigger, potentially crossing the three-hour mark at the movie theater?
John Wick: Chapter 4 hits theaters on March 24.