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John Wick Director Chad Stahelski Got Passed Over For The One Marvel Movie He Wanted

Chad Stahelski has come a long way since his Hollywood debut. It's hard to believe that the A-list director was once a stuntman in "The Crow," and had an uncredited acting role on "Baywatch." In 1999 he had his most challenging audition yet when he got a job as Keanu Reeves' stunt double in "The Matrix." In a 2019 interview with Vulture, Stahelski recalled, "After the 'Matrix,' I went from an average stunt guy to one of the biggest choreographers in the business. I started a company that deals specifically with martial-arts choreography and that's grown into all the 'John Wick' movies and everything. 'The Matrix' literally changed the industry."

After stunt doubling for Reeves in the next two "The Matrix" films and expanding to stunt coordinator and martial arts choreographer, Stahelski also started taking on more jobs as the assistant director, or second unit. After being second unit director on the first two "Hunger Games" films and several others, he directed the first "John Wick" with David Leitch (via IMDb). The following two sequels he did solo, and a fourth film is scheduled for 2023, with a recent trailer released at San Diego Comic-Con.

With the success of the "John Wick" franchise, Stahelski is extremely busy, finally getting the "Highlander" reboot off the ground and coaxing several other projects through various stages of development. Despite this, and his hesitancy about tentpole projects in general, there's one Marvel movie he always wanted to direct. Unfortunately, that ship has already sailed.

Stahelski really wanted to direct the Blade reboot

Chad Stahelski has expressed numerous times in interviews — and even to Marvel's own Kevin Feige — how much he'd like to reboot "Blade." 

"He actually asked me, 'What could we ever do?'" Stahelski recalled to Comicbook.com. "I was like, I'm not going to lie to you. I don't know if I fit that kind of studio mold, but 'Blade' would be the one interesting thing I'd like to do." Since that conversation, Marvel Studios hired Bassam Tariq to direct the rebooted "Blade," and Stahelski suggests that may be for the best.

Not only has Stahelski graciously praised Tariq's directing skills, but he's expressed support that Tariq will be able to take the new franchise successfully in the direction Marvel is looking for. "I don't know if I would've been the best choice for that in the direction they wanted to go," he admitted. "If you want to do the edgy rated-R version, yeah, give me a call. If you want to be non-apologetic, yeah. That's me. But I think they're protecting their brand, they're doing their thing."

Considering how many projects Stahleski is juggling, with IMDb listing three in pre-production, four projects announced, and "John Wick: Chapter 4" in post-production, Stahelski may be inwardly disappointed at not directing "Blade," but he's not letting it slow him down.