Considering John Wick’s origins in its protagonist’s love of his dog, it makes sense that the sequel’s biggest nemesis would be a bunch of cats.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Chad Stahelski and actress Halle Berry explained how one of John Wick 3 – Parabellum’s action sequences very nearly went completely off the rails.
The sequence, Stahelski explained, was shot in the Moroccan town of Essaouira, and the shooting area was quickly overrun by stray cats.
“The Moroccans are not big on canines,” Stahelski told EW. “Love a f-ing cat, though. There had to be thousands. We went there in the winter when we scouted and they weren’t that prevalent. We were like, there’s a few cats here, we’ll get a cat department, and we’re going to move all the cats out. We show up to shoot and there were literally a thousand cats, okay? And the cats have b-s of steel. They’re not afraid of anything. We had to build massive walls of cages. They’re just stray cats, but we want to be good handlers. So, we built little cat houses, put them in, had to feed them. We had walls of cats. Walls of fucking cats. The amount of f-ing cat food – we were probably feeding more cats than people on set.”
This caused a couple of problems, providing not only a major logistical challenge for the production but also a regular distraction to the dogs that were a necessary part of the action scene.
“It was kind of chaos,” said Berry. “Because, you have dogs running around, you have Keanu, we have all these guys coming from every different direction. It was totally chaotic and then we had these cats running through our set. It was often hard to keep the dogs focused, because they’d see a cat and off they’d go, and sometimes that could ruin a whole great take.”
So, remember, when you sit down to watch the third John Wick film, you’re not alone. An army of Morrocan cats are watching with you. Isn’t that a warm thought?
John Wick 3 – Parabellum is in cinemas on 17th May.