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Chad Stahelski Didn't Plan John Wick 4's Iconic Stair Scene Until He Saw Sacre Coeur For Himself

Contains spoilers for "John Wick: Chapter 4"

John Wick's (Keanu Reeves) fourth outing is nothing short of cinematic excellence. Already dominating the conversation as one of the greatest action films of all time, "John Wick: Chapter 4" is a testament to how immersive practical effects, stunt work, and daring, audacious ideas should be celebrated on the big screen. Filled with crowd-pleasing moments, there's one scene that sets "Chapter 4" apart from any other previous "John Wick" entry: the Sacré-Coeur stumble.

While "Chapter 4" is filled to the brim with chaotic action sequences, it's the already iconic stair scene that continues to be on the minds of fans. In trying to reach the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre to participate in the duel that will liberate him, John has to go up a dizzying number of stairs. The problem is that a dozen goons are ready to hunt him down. No problem for John, as he manages to make a considerable dent in the journey upward ... until he stumbles all the way back down. It's a frustrating moment for John but a hilarious one for audiences, who are privileged to see the world's greatest hitman make the ascent once again.

It turns out that the Sacré-Coeur scene wasn't a part of the film's plan, at least at first. "We were [scouting] at the top of Sacré-Cœur, the sun had just set. We looked down the stairs from the top, and went, 'Oh, somebody's going down this,”' director Chad Stahelski told The Hollywood Reporter.

Chad Stahelski wanted the moment to feel like a Western

Chad Stahelski continued his chat with THR by adding that the idea of having John Wick fall down and have to start his journey all over was another decision made during scouting. "We're gonna throw him back down and then we're gonna have him and Donnie [Yen's] character Caine do the Butch and Sundance thing and get to the top..." the director said. The scene serves as the perfect moment for Yen's character to reconcile with John. Stahelksi continued by describing the moment as something from a Western. He also emphasized how the moment would serve as a great way for the two to empathize with each other, saying, "We'll have him fight all the way to the top and bond just so we can see who kills each other at the top." The stair scene also allows Mr. Nobody's (Shamier Anderson) dog to get one of the most cheerworthy moments in the entire film.

Shooting the scene was no walk in the park, however. In a conversation with Collider, Stahelski said that it took five or so days to complete the sequence. Anyone familiar with Paris will know just how iconic the Sacré-Cœur is, making it no small task to shut the tourist attraction down. The director also revealed to the outlet that Keanu Reeves' stunt double Vincent Bouillon nailed the tumble on his second try. "He had to do that twice, and on the second one, that take that you see in the movie, there's no stitching," he said. "It is 100% real."