Chad Stahelski and David Leitch made the smoothest of transitions from stunt coordinators to directors with John Wick, taking everything they’d learned about choreographing action scenes and dialing it up to eleven as Keanu Reeves’ master assassin bulldozed his way through dozens of enemies to avenge the death of his dog.
Since then, Stahelski has remained largely in the world of Wick, although he did oversee the reshoots for Birds of Prey to give the fight sequences a bit of extra kick, while Leitch has become one of the most in-demand filmmakers in the genre after steering both Deadpool 2 and Hobbs & Shaw to massive box office success.
The duo struck up a strong friendship with Keanu Reeves while acting as stunt doubles and choreographers on The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions, with Stahelski also doubling for the actor in the first movie, but given how their own careers have turned out, it seemed unlikely that either of them would be involved in Lana Wachowski’s upcoming fourth installment, especially with John Wick: Chapter 4 set to shoot immediately after.
However, in a recent interview, Stahelski and Leitch confirmed their involvement in The Matrix 4, and while they’re taking less of a hands-on approach this time around, they seem confident that after the initial trilogy ended with a bit of a whimper back in 2003, Neo’s latest adventure is going to give the fans exactly what they want.
“It’s more about the creative concept of some of the choreography and backing them up with stuff. They asked us to help out with the choreography and some of the physical training for the guys. I’m helping out a little bit for a sequence, I think David is helping out for a sequence. It’s definitely, from what I know of it, it’s incredibly fun. I think if you’re a fan of the original trilogy, you’re gonna love this. Coming back with a vengeance.”
Stahelski and Leitch clearly know their stuff having directed several of the decade’s best action movies between them, as well as co-founding action design company 87Eleven over 20 years ago. Not to mention having had a hand in creating the fight scenes in everything from the Bourne and Expendables franchises to Jurassic World and The Hunger Games.
Fans were more than a little disappointed the last time they left a theater after seeing a brand new Matrix movie, so hopefully the long-awaited fourth entry will genuinely bring the sci-fi series back to our screens with a vengeance.