A hit anime directly inspired John Wick's shock finale

Keanu Reeves in John Wick 4
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Warning: spoilers for John Wick: Chapter 4 ahead!

Cowboy Bebop inspired John Wick: Chapter 4's shocking death scene, says director Chad Stahelski.

"I have this favorite anime Cowboy Bebop, where Spike Spiegel dies on the stairs, and Hajime Yatate is a huge influence for me, the director of Cowboy Bebop and the creator. So, that all kind of came together when I saw the location," Stahelski told Comic Book Movie.

Cowboy Bebop, directed by Shinichirō Watanabe, is a neo-noir space Western set in the year 2021, and has been hailed as one of the greatest anime series of all time. The series follows a group of bounty hunters who travel aboard a spaceship called the Bebop.

"That probably took us a while, you know, we're writing the script back and forth for like a year before we finally landed it and it was only like, I think it was less than two months before we rolled camera that we were like, 'Oh! That's how we want it!’" he continued. "That's after I'd sent a bunch of location scouts to Paris and found Sacré Coeur. We liked the imagery of the church, what that meant and going down the stairs."

Directed by Stahelski from a screenplay by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch, John Wick: Chapter 4 sees the titular assassin take his fight against the High Table global as he seeks out the most powerful players in the underworld, from New York to Paris to Osaka to Berlin...and ultimately meets his untimely death. Despite the slaying of its titular character, the franchise will live on – as yet another John Wick movie is in the works.

John Wick: Chapter 4 will be available to stream on STARZ on September 26. For more, check out our list of the most exciting upcoming movies in 2023 and beyond.

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.