Keanu Reeves Receives Hero’s Welcome at SXSW – Variety

Based on the deafening cheers that rocked the walls of the Paramount Theater in Austin, Texas on Monday, the SXSW Film Festival premiere of “John Wick: Chapter 4” was a smash hit – and that’s even before the start of the movie. All it took was star Keanu Reeves stepping onto the stage at the behest of director Chad Stahelski for more than 1,000 spectators to burst into unbridled enthusiasm.

That fervor never waned throughout the film’s epic two-hour, 49-minute runtime, with resounding ovations after the stupendous action sequences in Osaka, Berlin and Paris – and vocal gasps after several major twists.

Taking the stage after the screening, Reeves and Stahelski both seemed pleasantly shocked by the loud reception.

“You guys are amazing,” Reeves said. “Thank you for this experience. You guys are really awesome.

Stahelski added: “It’s one of the best audiences ever.”

Reporting on the rest of the post-screening Q&A, however, is a bit of a challenge, as the conversation occasionally drifted into serious spoiler territory – including Reeves’ answer for his favorite moment in the film, which was elicited a chorus of “Awwwws” from the audience.

Stahelski’s response was, at least, spoiler-free: “That was the first day Keanu came on set,” he said. “He had put the suit back on and it was the first time we had met in three years. So it was quite special.”

Like every other “John Wick” film, “Chapter 4” is steeped in baroquely staged and choreographed fight scenes, including one that unfolds in one uninterrupted take that Stahelski says took a week to complete. film. Then Reeves interrupted, “And months and months of planning And coaching.”

Much of the Q&A involved audience members launching into lengthy tributes to the film’s star. One person asked Reeves if he was getting old.

“Yeah man, I’m getting old,” he replied wearily. “I really – I age. It’s happening, man.

After Reeves said he kept Wick’s watch and wedding ring from the previous films, someone shouted, “I’m going to marry you!”

“Yeah, be careful what you wish for,” Reeves replied.

Another person shouted, “Bring back ‘Constantin,'” referencing Reeves’ beloved 2005 DC adaptation.

“I’m trying, man,” the actor said with a sigh.

One of the final questions came from someone who, understandably, had a puppy with him, who asked if Reeves was planning to appear in upcoming ‘John Wick’ spin-offs, including the series. The Continental”, due to premiere on Peacock later this year, and “Ballerina” with Ana de Armas.

Reeves and Stahelski seemed unsure how to respond.

“Uh, not sure yet,” the director said, followed immediately by a tentative “no” from Reeves – who then contradicted himself. “I made an appearance in ‘Ballerina’, it’s true.”

“John Wick: Chapter 4” hits theaters on March 24.

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