A new R-rated action movie produced by Sam Raimi lands John Wick comparisons, but the director thinks there’s an important difference

Boy Kills World
(Image credit: Signature Entertainment)

While the new action thriller Boy Kills World is based on an original story, that hasn’t stopped it from gaining plenty of comparisons to existing franchises. Our review calls it John Wick meets The Hunger Games, and it seems we’re not the only ones to have drawn parallels to iconic action movies. 

Asked about how he feels about the comparison, director Moritz Mohr tells GamesRadar+ and the Inside Total Film podcast that it’s a thrill, but he’s not sure it’s entirely accurate. "That's an honor to some degree because these films are just amazing," he says. "I think we are coming from a slightly different angle there because we tried to make a martial arts movie and then we added some guns to it whereas John Wick had guns and then it sort of added some martial arts to it, even more towards the later installments of the series. So yeah, I mean, those are gorgeous-looking action movies, but top-notch action, so if people want to compare them, I'm all for it."

In fact, there are several more direct references that Mohr pulled from for his debut feature, including anime, manga, and video games. The film stars Bill Skarsgård as Boy, a deaf and mute man who has spent several years training to become an elite warrior, all with the aim of killing those responsible for his family’s death.

John Wick 4

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Given the subject matter, the director adds that he really pulled from revenge movies too. "One of my favorite directors is Park Chan-wook [and his] revenge trilogy, Old Boy, Lady Vengeance, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance," Mohr continues. "That's how to make a modern revenge movie. All of these three movies blew me away when I first watched them and I was very heavily inspired."

Lady Snowblood, which is based on a manga series, and Kill Bill were other touchpoints, as were comics, he adds. "It was like, 'Alright, let's make a comic book movie but without a comic book.' Let's create this weird, colorful world that is fun, but also really dark."

The result is a fully realized and thought-out world, and it’s one that Mohr is hopeful he’ll get to come back to. No sequels have been announced yet for the film produced by horror maestro Sam Raimi, but the director is open to returning if audiences are keen.

"The thing is with not being a big studio movie and being an indie, you really have to wait for how people like the movie and how it performs and then we can talk about this," he smiles. "Up until then, we need to wait with fingers crossed. But yeah, there's a lot of stories I'd love to tell and a lot of ideas already in place."

Boy Kills World is in US theaters and UK cinemas on April 26. Elsewhere, we spoke about why it was always planned for an R-rating and what Skarsgård brought to the film. Listen to our full chat on the Inside Total Film podcast, out later this week.

For more, check out our guides to all the other upcoming movies on the way in 2024 and beyond as well as the best action movies of all time.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.