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The Legend of Keanu Reeves [GQ article]

Oct 26, 2017
Every generation gets its own Keanu Reeves, except every generation's Keanu Reeves is this Keanu Reeves.
“You have this over-the-hill assassin whose wife dies of natural causes, gives him a puppy, some Russian punk kills his puppy, and he kills 84 people,” Stahelski says. “How many studios do you think said no to that picture? The answer is all of them.”
Fight-movie fans hailed the first Wick's use of long takes and close-up martial-arts action as a bold stylistic throwback—anti-Bourne, a little bit anti-Matrix, even. And it was that. Reeves and Leitch and Stahelski wanted the audience to trust what they were seeing, so they didn't have John do anything that Keanu couldn't do. But there was another reason they staged the action the way they did.

“We had no choice,” Stahelski says happily. “We had no money. We couldn't afford all the fancy editing and fancy camerawork. The long takes, the close-quarters gun stuff—yes, those were ideas we had. But we couldn't afford not to do long takes. We had to do long takes because we only had one camera. The first guy who dies [in a fight scene] is also the last guy—he's gotta get up, run behind the camera, and come back into the shot and get hit by Keanu [again].”
There's a lot more, it's a good read. Just took stuff from the first little bit.