As John Wick: Chapter 4 debuts this weekend, it does so on one somber note: that star Lance Reddick passed away at the age of 60 just a week ago.
But the ongoing press tour for the latest sequel has given his cast and crew the chance to remember him, and Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski have done just that.
In particular, at a recent IGN special screening and Q&A, Stahelski recalled Reddick’s reaction to what happens to his character, Charon. In Chapter 4, he’s killed by the villainous Marquis de Gramont (Bill Skarsgard) to show Winston (Ian McShane) that he means business.
It’s undeniably a devastating scene as Winston says goodbye to his best friend, made all the more heartbreaking by real-life circumstances. At the Q&A, Stahelski recalled how fond Reddick was of how it all played out, sharing that he was “incredibly excited when he saw it before we had started the press tour.”
“When we first handed Lance the script a few years ago, obviously Charon dies and that’s always a little disturbing to see your character perish on paper,” Stahelski remembered. “But Lance almost instantly got – like, he read the whole script – he understood how important that was to the overall movie that starts the whole journey for Winston and how it triggers the friendships and all the dilemmas.”
Stahelski added that Reddick was “such a great artist,” understanding “the big picture and how important his role is in the movie.”
“One of the best things he ever said to me after he saw it was like, ‘I’m very proud of what we did. Thank god we made those decisions and we didn’t back out,’ ” he said.
Reeves added his own thoughts as well, calling Reddick “a beautiful man, wonderful artist.”
“I’m just really honored and grateful to work with him on four films for almost ten years,” he said.
John Wick: Chapter 4 ends with its own tribute to Reddick, dedicating the film to him on an end card after the credits and post-credits scene.