The set of John Wick 3: Parabellum was invaded by thousands of ballsy cats. Wick is on the run since there is a $14 million bounty on his head and this leads him to seek help from his old friend Sophia (Halle Berry) and her two Belgian Malinois dogs. The franchise is big on dogs, but apparently where they shot some of the movie in Essaouira, Morocco wasn't into the canine companions so much, which led to a cat invasion on set.
Cats are generally pretty fearless to begin with, but Moroccan street cats might be even more extreme. They may have just wanted some cat representation in John Wick 3 after two previous installments of dog love. Or, they may have just been being jerks, which is something some cats are also known for. Director Chad Stahelski had this to say about the situation.
"The Moroccans are not big on canines. Love a f*cking cat, though. There had to be thousands. We went there in the winter when we scouted and they weren't that prevalent. We were like, There's a few cats here, we'll get a cat department, and we're going to move all the cats out. We show up to shoot and there were literally a thousand cats, okay? And the cats have balls of steel. They're not afraid of anything."
The cats were such a problem that they actually started to delay the production of John Wick 3, which is pretty remarkable. As it turns out, dogs like to chase cats, (duh) especially Belgian Malinois, apparently. Whatever the case may be, the crew were able to get over the feline hurdle to complete everything, but it was taxing. Chad Stahelski explains.
"What do Belgian Malinois love to chase? F*cking cats! While Keanu Reeves is killing ten guys over there, Halle is killing ten guys over here, and (there is the) stunt guy the dog's got to focus on. You want that dog focused on what he's supposed to bite, and what he's not supposed to bite. Hit the mark, right? And there's ten cats walking around and you're going, 'Oh, Jesus. Oh, Jesus.' You're sitting behind the monitor going, 'What's the dog looking at? What's the dog looking at? Oh my god oh my god, he's going to bite - Argh!' It got a little crazy between cat-wrangling, and dog-wrangling, and people-wrangling. And you've got the studio back (in America) going, 'Why are you a little behind? Just get the dog to do (it).' And you're like, I don't speak dog. If I did I'd be f*cking rich! Anyway, that was kind of fun."
Back in April, some extended footage from John Wick 3 was shown at CinemaCon and Sofia's dogs stole the show from Keanu Reeves. The early reactions on social media were dominated by mentions of how awesome the dog assassins are and from the looks of the recent early reviews, the movie is the best out of the whole franchise. This may or may not have something to do with the addition of assassin dogs.
After Chad Stahelski and the John Wick 3 crew's Moroccan experience, we could end up seeing some more cats in the franchise, should it continue to go on. The movie hits theaters next weekend and has already been praised, so we could very well end up seeing Keanu Reeves back as the badass assassin with some new feline friends. The interview with Chad Stahelski was originally conducted by Entertainment Weekly.