The could’ve, would’ve, should’ve. Sometimes, it’s hard for us to imagine someone else playing a movie character, especially if the actor nails the role.
Donnie Yen played Caine in John Wick 4, an enemy-turned-ally who is blind and utilises his sense of hearing to survive. Caine immediately became a fan favorite and has been regarded as one of the best characters in the John Wick universe. However, can you imagine someone else playing Caine? Perhaps, Jackie Chan?
Director of all John Wick movies, Chad Stahelski revealed that Jackie Chan was initially his choice to play the blind daredevil, Caine. During the pre-production stage, Stahelski, who had spent a lot of time with Jackie said that he envisioned Jackie Chan as Caine when the script was still being penned. However, Jackie couldn’t make it due to his hectic schedule.
“You can kind of picture the old man with the cane and the whole thing like that,” Stahelski said in an interview with Collider.
However, with Jackie’s busy schedule and when the Covid-19 pandemic messed up the whole process, lots of changes had to be made.
Stahelski had always wanted to work with Donnie, so he called him and told him about the character, including how he originally envisioned the character – an old man with a cane. Donnie Yen, on the other hand, had something else in mind about how to bring Caine to life, and he was blunt about it.
“I’ve played a blind fighter before in Star Wars : Rogue One. Why do I have to be old? I wanna be John Wick, but blind and cool.”
Donnie did not spare the details when it comes to how he pictured Caine, saying “Caine should be the coolest dude in this movie, with sunglasses and stuff.”
Stahelski LOVED the idea, calling it “awesome”, and the rest is history. Stahelski also said that Donnie ended up playing Caine better than the version he initially had in mind.
Jackie Chan was initially offered the lead role in Everything, Everywhere, All at Once before it was eventually re-written for Michelle Yeoh. It certainly sounds like many Hollywood filmmakers missed the chance to work with Jackie.
In this case, can you imagine Jackie putting up a suit with sunglasses, and swiftly fighting alongside John Wick?