The modern-day, mostly New York-set John Wick franchise may not seem to have much in common with Game of Thrones, aside from their respectively high body counts. But the Keanu Reeves-starring movie series has always featured a strong connection with the HBO show. Alfie Allen, who played Theon Greyjoy on Game of Thrones, appeared in the first John Wick movie as the gangster responsible for the death of the titular hitman’s dog — and thus, it could be argued, the plot of the entire franchise. Meanwhile, Ian McShane, who portrayed Brother Ray on the HBO show, has starred as the Continental Hotel-managing Winston in all three John Wick movies, including John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (out May 17).
This time around, McShane is joined by yet another Game of the Thrones cast member, the Bronn-playing Jerome Flynn. Director Chad Stahelski cast the British actor as Berrada, one of the bigwigs of the franchise’s world of assassins, and an acquaintance of another new character, Halle Berry’s deadly Sofia.
“He’s Halle Berry’s former boss,” says Stahelski. “It’s someone that Keanu needs to ask a favor from. I love Jerome Flynn. He plays a character that’s very integral [the movie]. It’s the reason that John Wick goes to Morocco. Jerome was unique. He literally had like five days of dialog he had to learn in a day.”
John Wick: Chapter 3 also has a strong behind-the-scenes connection with Game of Thrones. In the film, Berry’s Sofia owns two Belgian Malinois, who she has trained to be attack dogs. The canines who portray the pair of hounds were trained in real-life by Andrew Simpson who also trained the Ghost-playing Quigley on Game of Thrones.
“Our goal was to train dogs to look like they were attacking, but it’s play,” says Stahalski. “No matter how violent the physicality looks, the dogs in their heads consider it playtime. Luckily, we found a trainer, Andrew Simpson, who [works on] Game of Thrones, who was willing to go out and spend a year of his life training these dogs to have fun and play, so the stuntmen don’t have to wear the big suits and all that stuff.”
Watch the trailer for John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum above.
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