The 'John Wick' series is renowned for its epic action sequences and the number of bad guys the titular hero takes out. And all because they killed his dog.

The first in the franchise saw the retired assassin kill 77 people in total. The most recent outing for the protagonist, 'John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum', involved 88 kills.

But as it turned out the script for the 2014 movie which started it all was completely different originally.

In fact, the kill count came to a mere three.

Chad Stahelski, who co-directed the first film with David Leitch before helming its two sequels solo, revealed as much to

He said: "I think [Keanu Reeves] sent it to me on a Friday and I read it maybe that day and thought about it over the weekend.

"It was much more contained. I think only three people died in the original script, two were in a car crash.

"It was very, very minimal, and it was slightly different.

"I read it, and I'd always had this idea about Greek mythology and how to tell more a fablestic kind of story, make a surreal action movie so it wasn't so grounded and gray, just something different."

Stahelski also emphasised that there's more to the franchise than just killing off a bunch of bad guys.

"People joke about it [the kill count], but the way I choreograph with my guys and stuff, we just choreograph motion and set pieces and we try to get this balletic kind of dance, live performance feel to everything," he continued.

"It's just when you shoot people in the head, they can't get back up so you can reuse a stunt guy. Every time Keanu moves, he does two half circles. He's killed five guys. So I got to keep using more and more stunt guys."

'John Wick Chapter 4' will not be shot back-to-back with a fifth installment, as was originally the plan, though 'Chapter 5' has been green lit.

Stahelski told "The worst thing you can do is 'I got five ideas. I'm going to put two in number four and put three in number five.'

"I don't want to try and stretch into two movies. I want to have solid ideas.

"So we're attacking number four with everything we have. If there's anything left on the table, we'll fully attack number five.

He added: "We're going to write a really good number four.

"If a really good number four feels solid to Keanu and I, we'll make that one.

"That doesn't mean we won't plan on a five or start writing five, but we want to make sure we have a solid story."

'Chapter 4' will hit cinemas May 27, 2022.