The secret history of how Keanu Reeves became John Wick

Keanu Reeves' main performance has helped the John Wick film become one of the most successful action movie franchises of all time during the last decade.

First-film screenwriter Derek Kolstad envisioned the vengeance-seeking assassin to be significantly older when he developed the screenplay for Scorn.

"My agent at the time, Charlie Ferraro, came to me with five offers for the script, and he didn't tell me the first four," Kolstad adds.

He said, 'They're massive, but choose the lowest-paying one since they want to film the movie immediately. Take this if you wish to write professionally. You know your agent is excellent when he thinks long-term. The movie John Wick was sold in February and released in November. That never occurs."

"My other best friend in the world, this guy Jimmy Darmody, is an agent at CAA, who at the time represented Keanu," adds Iwanyk. 'Do you have any action movies for Keanu Reeves?' I thought, Keanu is one of the best action actors of the previous 25 years—what happened to him?

"Basil brought the script to me with the idea that I would be a part of such a great collaboration," the actor writes. We felt the proposal had promise. John Wick is there, but so is the real world and the underworld.

This thieves' nest has honor and a code. It's emotional for John Wick, who's mourning, lost his love, and has a fabled dark background. I appreciated his struggle to restore his life. He travels the globe to accomplish it."

I wrote the screenplay at Keanu's place on weekends for two months. When I first met him and walked into his house, he rounded the corner to say hello. It's a nice house, not ostentatious for a billionaire, and I see 300 screenplays on his desk because he reads everything UTA, WME, and William Morris send out.