Today, Chad Stahelski is best known as the director of the smash hit John Wick movies. In a previous life he was also heavily involved in the original Matrix trilogy as Keanu Reeves’ stunt double for the first two films.
Stahelski also went on to set up action design company 87Eleven with David Leitch. Recently this firm was deployed to help fix some issues with the action scenes on Birds of Prey. They are back working with Reeves and The Matrix yet again as Stahelski is working on the action for the fourth movie in the series. He recently spoke with a The Hollywood Reporter about working with Lana Wachowski:
“You have somebody like Lana, who’s going, ‘We’re going to do this and this and this.’ She’s got some really great ideas. She knows the visual style. She knows what she’s trying to say in the sequence. She wants to collaborate and see how high you can take it in collaboration.
[Wachowski] comes with this set piece. She comes with, ‘This is the character. This is what’s happening. This is the conflict. This is where I need him to be emotionally or psychologically or whatever plot-wise at the end of this sequence. What do you got in your bag of tricks to make it absolutely crazy?’
She’s one of those great people that she’ll tell us something and we’ll say, ‘Okay, we’ve got this.’ Then she’s like, ‘Oh my God, that’s awesome. I didn’t think of that, but what if we took this and made it this?’. She always kind of one-ups you and that’s a challenge. She’s probably still the most challenging person, in a good way, that I’ve ever worked with… If you love the Matrix trilogy, you’re going to love what she’s doing because she’s brilliant and fun and understands what the fans want.”
Filming on The Matrix 4 was halted by COVID19 but will be back on track from July. After this Keanu Reeves and Stahelski will reunite yet again for John Wick 4. Stahelski mentioned that project in the same interview.
He said there were two action sequences invented for John Wick 3: Parabellum that simply could not be fitted into the movie and he aims to use them in John Wick 4. He says he is using the break in filming The Matrix 4 in order to plan out John Wick 4 and make it even better.