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The Hilarious Reason The John Wick Movie Title Was Changed

In the tradition of Rocky and Rambo, the Keanu Reeves-starring action franchise John Wick made the smart decision to keep its title simple. By naming the bombastic series of films after their protagonist, the enigmatic and deadly John Wick, the producers created an instantly iconic character on whom they could hang an entire franchise. And it certainly doesn't hurt that the movies are full of tightly choreographed fight sequences and are headlined by beloved movie star.

While a different title wouldn't have changed the quality of the John Wick franchise, now that we're eagerly anticipating John Wick 4, it's hard to imagine the films going by any other name. However, that wasn't always the case. Early in the development of the first movie, the project was being produced under a completely different title: Scorn. It's a fitting noun to describe the emotional landscape of the first movie, but it doesn't quite have the weight of "John Wick."

Thanks to an interview with the writer behind the franchise, we now know the reason John Wick got its name change — and it's pretty hilarious.

Keanu Reeves never called the film by its intended title

The producers of the John Wick franchise have their star to thank for the films' now iconic title. Derek Kolstad, the writer behind all three films, spoke to ComicBook.com about how the name change came to be. As he described, it wasn't exactly planned: "The only reason it's called John Wick is that Keanu kept referring to it as John Wick."

It would be one thing if it was some random person in the production continuously getting the name wrong, but when it's the movie's star, eventually you have to take the change into consideration. Kolstad went on to say that the studio rolled with the ad-hoc alteration: "Marketing was like, 'Dude, that's four to five million dollars in free advertising so far, so it's John Wick instead of Scorn.'"

The writer didn't elaborate on whether Reeves' insistence on calling the movie John Wick was a series of gaffes or whether the actor was deliberately attempting to manifest a new name. Either way, his instincts were spot on. Even Kolstad agrees. He said of the original title for his script, "I can't imagine it being Scorn now."

We can't imagine it either. Scorn: Chapter 4 just doesn't have the same ring to it.