Two things everyone knows about John Wick. He's the assassin you call when you want to take out other master assassins, and hurting his dog is akin to signing your own death warrant. The entire franchise centering about the character started because the villain in the first movie killed Wick's dog. But as the film's screenwriter Derek Kolstad revealed in a recent interview, that particular plot point was almost entirely cut out by a nervous studio.
"I think that they wanted to do it right, and so there were elements where [the studio said], 'Let's cut the dog out. Let's just focus on it as an assassin coming out of retirement.' That kind of thing."
The killing of Wick's dog had always been a part of the script, but over time it grew into such a major moment that the studio was afraid the scene would not play well with audiences. But for the film's creators, the death of the dog was an essential aspect of Wick's personal journey over the course of the film.
"Without that dog connection and without that underlying soul and the heartbeat of that character, and also the levity it brings the character and the levity it brings the humor, it was key. At certain points, Chad and Dave, they fought for it, they got it and they were right. They continued to fight for the way they see certain stories playing out elsewhere. They've done quite well with that. They're talented cats, man."
Despite the insistence of the film's directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, studio execs remained worried about the scene up until the time of the very first screening of the finished movie before an audience. Watching the reaction of the crowd to the scene confirmed that the makers had made the right call in keeping the dog angle in the narrative.
There was this pushback and pushback from all different angles until that first screening. We were watching the audience. As soon as the dog died, and seeing their reaction and then seeing the siege in house, we were like, yep, we were right."
"But a lot of times, you go into these movies, after so much work behind the scenes, and people take it differently. You kind of have to roll with it. But this was one of those rare situations where we kind of fought with our gut and it turned out to be right."
Wick's relationship with his dog and his wife are the very few instances that the master assassin shows aspects to his character other than rage and vengeance. They serve to ground what would otherwise be an unstoppable killing machine in the finer emotions of love and regret which makes audiences root for him when he launches his vendetta against the entire criminal underworld. Fans can watch Wick continue on his mission with the next John Wick film, whose script is currently being written. This comes from ComicBook.com.