The recent launch of the first trailer for “John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum” ended on the action shot of Halle Berry’s character Sophia using her two trained pet dogs in combat against armed gunmen.
Speaking with Collider this week, the film’s director Chad Stahelski says they deliberately took their time finding the right trainer for the dogs who would make the scenario fun for the pooches. Five Belgian shepherds were trained for five months, but Stahelski didn’t want to use trainers hiding on set giving the dogs orders.
As a result, Berry herself was involved in the training throughout so she effectively became their on-screen dog trainer:
“When we cast Halle we had the big talk. Halle actually came, after all her fight rehearsals and gun rehearsals, she would go sit, and work, and play with the dogs for months on end so the dogs on-screen actually obey Halle. They’re not looking at a trainer. That was really fun.
Once you realized what was best for the animals, the dog and the process of how to get the most takes and the most precise takes out of him, we just reverse engineered back how to put it into choreography. We wanted to show that in the movie.
So just like our John Wick version where we don’t cut a lot, we tried to do longer take that track with Halle and see the dogs actually doing it, so you know we didn’t just cheat and do an insert of a dog chewing on something.”
In addition, the dogs in the film represent someone that Berry’s character has lost – not unlike Keanu Reeves’ character in the first film. “John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum” opens May 17th 2019.