Producer Basil Iwanyk Talks JOHN WICK, Script Changes, Keanu Reeves, GODS OF EGYPT, SICARIO, CIVILIAN, SPLINTER CELL, and More

     October 27, 2014


As I’ve said again and again, I absolutely loved John Wick.  Filmmakers Chad Stahelski and  David Leitch have crafted a fantastic action thriller that’s absolutely worth your time and money.  In the film, Keanu Reeves stars as an ex-hitman who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.  Trust me, if you like action movies, this is a must see film.  For more on John Wick, watch this trailer, see Evan shoot people in the face, and here’s all our previous coverage.

At the New York City press day I landed an exclusive video interview with producer Basil Iwanyk.  He talked about how the project came together, how the script changed, casting Keanu Reeves, how Leitch and Stahelski came on board to direct their first movie, the role of a producer, shooting in NYC, Alex Proyas’ Gods of Egypt, Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, Civilian with Jackie Chan which he calls “Die Hard in a weapons convention,” the status of the Splinter Cell movie, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

john-wick-posterBasil Iwanyk:

  • Iwanyk describes the schedule cycle for a producer.
  • 1:00 – Talks about picking up the script and bringing on Reeves as his first choice.
  • 2:00 – The biggest change to the script was making John Wick younger than initially planned (65 to 70) to fit Reeves.
  • 3:30 – Talks about how the foreign rights were sold and betting on the quality of the film with the domestic rights.
  • 4:50 – How they landed on the release date with a quick turnaround.
  • 6:25 – There were some visual effects but most of the shots were achieved practically.
  • 7:20 – Talks about the role of a producer.
  • 9:00 – How Leitch and Stahelski came on board to direct their first movie.  Iwanyk says he’d love to work with them again including a possible John Wick 2.
  • 11:30 – The guiding principle: “We’re making a movie that should feel like it was adapted from a great graphic novel.”
  • 12:30 – Shooting in New York City helped get a great supporting cast.
  • 14:10 – Briefly pitches Gods of Egypt and compares it to Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Says the trailer should come out first quarter of 2015.
  • 15:30 – Says Sicario will blow people’s minds.
  • 17:20 – Calls Civilian with Jackie Chan “Die Hard in a weapons convention.”  Says they are working to get the script right on Splinter Cell.



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