John Wick
John Wick TV series "The Continental" will be released in 2021. John Wick/Facebook


  • The iconic "John Wick: Chapter 4" stairs fight scene took seven nights and 35 stuntmen to perfect
  • Film director Chad Stahelski revealed that Keanu Reeves did the majority of his grueling stunts
  • "John Wick: Chapter 4" is still showing in theaters worldwide

Nearing the end of "John Wick: Chapter 4," viewers were stunned by a grueling action-packed scene of the legendary hitman fighting to reach the top of 222-step stairs leading to Sacré-Coeur Basilica, and it's now one of the most notable scenes of the film.

Keanu Reeves' John Wick battled with what appeared to be more than a dozen assassins on a mission to kill him for a whopping $40 million. The hitman had to reach the church by sunrise to meet the villain Marquis (Bill Skarsgard) for a duel in exchange for the former's freedom. But he got knocked back to the bottom of the staircase with only a few minutes to spare.

Thanks to his friend-turned-foe-turned-friend again Caine, played by martial arts master Donnie Yen, he was finally able to make it to the entrance of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica after the pair worked together to fight off more enemies.

Though the scene went by fast, it took about "seven sometimes wet nights" and 35 stuntmen to perfect, according to The New York Times.

"Chapter 4's" stunt coordinator Scott Rogers revealed to the outlet that the act of "scaling" the stairs wasn't so easy. He said, "There's probably more of a physical toll on it because you are fighting in the middle of steps."

Rogers also estimated that one stuntman was probably "killed" five or six times on the steps, and at the end of filming, the 58-year-old titular lead even gifted the stunt performers with t-shirts bearing the numbers of times they got killed off in the three-hour movie. Some had over 20 deaths, the outlet noted.

Reeves, for his part, also did the majority of the action-packed scenes himself, even performing his choreography — a mixture of "gun-fu," judo and jiu-jitsu — while docking each body and tree he encountered as he made it up the stairs, the film's director Chad Stahelski told NYT.

However, the "really big stair fall" was performed by the actor's stunt double, Vincent Bouillon, whose second take of the stint was the one aired on the big screen. Stahelski also quipped that he "still gotta throw Mr. Reeves down a couple of stairs" for the final edit.

"That look John Wick gives when he looks at his watch and actually looks up the staircase, I think that's maybe 50 percent John Wick and 50 percent Keanu Reeves going, 'Ugh, Stahelski did it to me again,'" he shared, later clarifying that the effort embodied his character.

"You got to suffer. That's what's fun about John Wick. He suffers, and he keeps going," he concluded.

But there's no need to worry because aside from some bumps and bruises, no one from the stunt team suffered severe concussions. For more protection, the production team added hidden padding at the staircase, which was easily edited out through visual effects.

Elsewhere in the interview, Stahelski said the stairs scene was designed to look like a "whole John Wick metaphor," in which the hero fights off people, then gets beaten himself, and has to start from the beginning. He also said the idea came up while they scouted for shooting locations in Paris.

"John Wick: Chapter 4" hit both domestic and global theaters last week, nearly four years since the third installment "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum" premiered in 2019. It has since become a blockbuster hit, grossing a whopping $137.5 million at the box office during its opening weekend.

Keanu Reeves attends a promotional event for “John Wick: Chapter 2” in Tokyo, Japan, on June 13, 2017. Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon