John Wick is a 2014 American neo-noir action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch and starring Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Dean Winters, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo and Willem Dafoe. The film stars Reeves as John Wick, a retired hitman seeking vengeance for the theft of his vintage car and the killing of his puppy, a gift from his recently deceased wife.Stahelski and Leitch directed the film together, though Leitch was uncredited.
The film was written by Derek Kolstad, who completed the screenplay in 2012 and further developed it for Thunder Road Pictures. The film was produced by Basil Iwanyk of Thunder Road Pictures, Leitch, Eva Longoria, and Michael Witherill. It marks Stahelski and Leitch’s directorial debut as a team after multiple separate credits as second unit directors and stunt coordinators. They previously worked with Reeves as stunt doubles on The Matrix trilogy.
Stahelski and Leitch’s approach to action scenes drew upon their admiration for anime and martial arts films, and the film’s use of fight choreographers and gun fu techniques from Hong Kong action cinemawas additionally influential in the development of the film. The film also pays homage to works such as John Woo‘s The Killer, Jean-Pierre Melville‘s Le Cercle Rouge and Le Samouraï, John Boorman‘s Point Blank, and the spaghetti western subgenre of Western films. On its release, the film received positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances, visuals and action sequences, and grossed $88 million worldwide. A sequel, John Wick: Chapter 2, was released in February 2017.