Keanu Reeves And Chad Stahelski Explain How The John Wick Movies Are Tied In With The Matrix
While fans have loved Keanu Reeves and Chad Stahelski’s collaboration on the John Wick series, their relationship goes back to meeting on the set of the first Matrix film. The lineage between John Wick and The Matrix may not be obvious given how different their stories and characters are, but there are some connective threads. Reeves and Stahelski recently explained how the two action film franchises are tied together.
The frequent collaborators spoke about the connection between the two franchises during an interview with Wired. Stahelski was asked about his cameo role in The Matrix Resurrections, which he cheekily called “tragic” after a not-so-great single-day shoot. Reeves played down the director’s account by saying he and Resurrections director Lana Wachowski thought his performance went well. All this Matrix talk led to the duo being asked about a possible connection between John Wick and the sci-fi franchise. While Reeves didn’t compare the franchises, he praised both series for their originality.
If we’re gonna compare them, they both were original ideas with visionary filmmakers.
When you think of John Wick and The Matrix, the commonalities aren’t on the surface. As the Hollywood veteran pointed out, each series are transformative original ideas that changed the cultural landscape. Both film series share Reeves as their leading man and are action-heavy films, but that’s where the comparisons end. The Matrix series delves into the merger of sci-fi, dystopia, and technology as Neo experiences multiple exploits. The John Wick franchise is a full-throttled action revenge epic centered around the lone wolf titular character. But the threads are there between the renowned action franchises.
Compared to Reeves, Stahelski saw more similarities between the two franchises. The John Wick director mentioned working under the Wachowskis for multiple years. He spelled out how closely connected the hitman film series and The Matrix franchise. He said:
No one was under any delusion that Matrix wasn’t going to be pretty awesome. Then David Leitch [co-director of the first Wick film] and I stayed on for V for Vendetta and Speed Racer, so we pretty much got a decade of Wachowski film school. The John Wicks are definitely children of The Matrix.
Working under the visionary directors affected Stahelski’s direction and visuals for the John Wick franchise. Everything from the lighting to certain action shots has traces of the Matrix film series. So, appearing in the ill-fated The Matrix Resurrections was a full-circle moment for the director as the first film was one of his early stuntman jobs.
Keanu Reeves drew the vastly different film series together as he spoke about the Wachowskis being sticklers for “attention to detail, world building, and having ideas” while filming The Matrix movies. He mentioned those ideals carried over to the John Wick film series, especially in the upcoming John Wick: Chapter 4, referred to as the longest one so far. The fourth film teased this dynamic and new setting in the new trailer with a huge body count for the beloved hitman. Fans won’t have to wait much longer for John Wick’s return when it arrives in theaters on March 24.
In the meantime, you can watch the previous John Wick films by streaming them through a Peacock subscription. Follow that up by revisiting The Matrix franchise with an active HBO Max subscription.