John Wick 4 director addresses criticism of epic runtime

John Wick: Chapter 4 shoots into cinemas next week, and it's the biggest John Wick movie yet – not just in the set pieces.

Last month, the fourth movie was confirmed to be an epic 169 minutes long, making it the longest of the series by some distance. It's had some questioning whether it needs to be so long, given the first movie was a taut 101 minutes.

For returning director Chad Stahelski, he's not fussed by the criticism. "If that's the critique, we'll take it," he told Digital Spy, with Keanu Reeves comparing the new movie to "an opera".

Stahelski added: "I don't think we've ever concerned ourselves, we just watch the movie. I think it's the length that we feel is the best version of the movie. We've tried longer, we've tried much shorter. That's what we feel is a good movie."

keanu reeves, john wick 4

Related: John Wick 4 is an action epic that'll leave you stunned

It certainly seems to have worked as John Wick: Chapter 4 has received rave first reactions following its world premiere earlier this month.

Fans have had to wait a little longer for the return of the hitman, with the movie originally set to be released in May 2021. The delay allowed them to finesse Chapter 4, with Reeves revealing Stahelski "tried a lot of different paths for the story".

"They take a little time to put together, and we wanted to make sure we have the story in our head first," Stahelski continued. "I think it just took what it took. When we felt ready, we were like, 'OK, we're ready'."

lance reddick and ian mcshane, john wick chapter 4
Murray Close/Lionsgate

Originally, the fourth movie was going to film back-to-back with a fifth movie, but Reeves recently gave a disappointing update on a new John Wick adventure:

"You have to see how the audience responds to what we did," he said. "The only reason we've had a chance to make these movies is that people have liked what we have done.

"So I think we have to wait and see how the audience responds to it. Hopefully they'll like it."

John Wick: Chapter 4 is released in cinemas on March 24.

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