John Wick Star Nearly Lost His Ear, Needed 80 Stitches After a Gruesome Injury in Keanu Reeves’ Franchise

One of the few franchises where all the films have received unanimous praise and success is the John Wick franchise. Starring Keanu Reeves, the film series follows the titular John Wick and his clash with various other members of the underworld. Many veteran actors such as Halle Berry, Lawrence Fishbourne, and Donnie Yen have made an appearance in the franchise.

While the action film franchise has many interesting behind-the-scenes stories. From Reeves being covered with bacon grease to Halle Berry learning to be an animal wrangler, the John Wick franchise is filled with tidbits. One of the most terrifying stories is how late actor Michael Nyqvist nearly lost his ear while filming a scene.

Actor Michael Nyqvist’s Life-Threatening Injury

Michael NyqvistMichael Nyqvist

Keanu Reeves headlines the John Wick franchise which features many well-known actors who make an appearance. Veteran actors such as Ian McShane and Lawrence Fishbourne make multiple appearances in the films, and other stars such as Halle Berry, and Donnie Yen have starred in one of the films in the franchise.

Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist starred in the first film as the primary antagonist, the Russian crime boss Viggo Tarasov. His on-screen son Iosef assaults John Wick, steals his car, m*rders his puppy, and prompts the return of Wick to the underworld. The actor is known for his antagonist roles in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and also starred in the Swedish version of Girl With A Dragon Tattoo.


Michael NyqvistMichael Nyqvist

The actor reportedly had a near-death experience during the filming of John Wick. In an action scene, the actor suffered an injury where his skull was split and his ear was dangling. He was taken to the hospital and his head required eighty stitches to fully heal. Nyquist has mentioned that he faced a near-death experience during that scene and he saw the proverbial tunnel. The plastic surgeon who worked on legendary actor Elizabeth Taylor seemed to have treated him.

The stitches deferred the team from using a wig on Nyqvist and on his suggestion, the character Viggo can be seen wearing a hat on many occasions to hide the injury. The actor passed away in 2017 due to complications from lung cancer.

How Did The Keanu Reeves’ Franchise Begin?

Keanu ReevesKeanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves first became attached to the action film in 2013, when writer Derek Kolstad wrote a screenplay titled Scorn. Reeves sent the script to his Matrix stunt coordinators Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, in hopes of them wanting to direct the action sequences. The duo pitched themselves as the directors instead and were finally hired with the support of Reeves. Reeves himself suggested the change of title from Scorn to John Wick.

Though Keanu Reeves is trained in martial arts, the actor was asked to take up multiple other pieces of training such as Japanese jujutsu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and tactical gunfighting. He trained with the Los Angeles SWAT team and Navy SEALs, while also learning how to drift a car while aiming a gun. Reeves performed many of his own stunts in the franchise.

John Wick was released in 2014 to universal acclaim and was a huge hit. It earned over $86 million against a $30 million budget. Critics praised its world-building aspects, and unique action set pieces, and was considered to be a return to form for actor Keanu Reeves. It spawned three sequels, with John Wick: Chapter 4 releasing earlier this year to an amazing response. Two spin-offs are also in development.

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