Keanu Reeves, known for his role as the lethal assassin in the John Wick film series, speaks very few words in the latest installment, John Wick 4, according to data compiled by the Wall Street Journal.
John Wick: Chapter 4 is dedicated to action, with minimal dialogue, and Reeves’ character is remarkably quiet, speaking reluctantly throughout the movie. In total, Reeves says only 380 words in the 169-minute film, which is less than he said in the franchise’s first film, where he spoke a total of 484 words in 101 minutes.
The limited dialogue of John Wick was intentionally designed by the writer and director Chad Stahelski, along with Reeves himself. They cut approximately half of the character’s dialogue from the initial script.
For example, in a scene where John Wick and the Marquis de Gramont unravel the rules of their duel, Wick was supposed to have 50% of the dialogue, but Reeves cut bits of dialogue so that he only gives one-word answers.
Despite Reeves’ limited dialogue, the actor is known for his dedication to his craft. The most extended dialogue spoken by Reeves in the film is a single sentence, where he says to his friend Shimazu Koji, played by Hiroyuki Sanada, “You and I left a good life behind a long time ago, my friend.” Co-writer Michael Finch was shocked at how dedicated Reeves was to not talking.
In the latest film, about 10% of the total words of Reeves are in the trailer, making the protagonist seem more talkative than he is in the movie. The Wall Street Journal notes that most of Wick’s lines contain one word, with “Yeah” being the most frequently used.
Despite his limited lines, Reeves’ performance has received critical acclaim, and John Wick 4 has now made over $157 Million worldwide.