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There have been iconic moments in the action movie genre over the years, but nothing has come close to matching the kinetic, balletic gun-fu of the John Wick films.
In They Shouldn’t Have Killed His Dog: The Complete Uncensored Ass-Kicking Oral History of John Wick, Gun-Fu and The New Age of Action, bestselling authors Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross take you behind the scenes of a franchise that includes three films with more on the way, while exploring the action classics that led to John Wick as well as the films it inspired, like Atomic Blonde. They bring you right into the middle of the action of the John Wick films, detailing how the seemingly impossible was achieved through exclusive interviews with the cast, writers, directors, producers, stuntmen, fight choreographers, cinematographers, studio executives, editors, critics, and more. Together, they break down key action sequences while also providing a look back at the road the action genre has taken that led to John Wick, and a look at the character itself, an anti-hero who carries on the grand tradition of Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name, but with a twist — and a never-ending supply of ammo — while showcasing the enduring appeal of the action movie as well as John Wick’s unique reinvention of the genre.
EDWARD GROSS is a veteran entertainment journalist who took his childhood passion for film and television and turned it into a career. As a student at Hofstra University, while most of the staff of The New Voice was interviewing the likes of student senators and faculty members, he was speaking to people like playwright Neil Simon (awarded an honorary degree by the school), Curtis Sliwa of New York’s Guardian Angels, Dr. Daniel Schwartz, the police psychiatrist who interviewed both David Berkowitz and Mark David Chapman; and James Bond director John Glen. Early on he sold pieces to New York Nightlife, Starlog and Filmfax magazines and was on his way.
Over the years he would not only become a correspondent for Starlog, but part of the editorial staff of Fangoria, Cinefantastique, SFX, Cinescape, Sci-Fi Now, Not of This Earth, RetroVision, Life Story, Movie Magic, Film Fantasy and TV Magic. Online he was Executive Editor, US for Empire Online, Film and TV Editor at Closer Weekly, Life & Style, and In Touch Weekly, and Nostalgia Editor for DoYouRemember? Currently he is senior editor at Geek magazine, and editor and podcast host for Voices from Krypton (devoted to the superhero genre), TV RetroVision (classic television) and Vampires and Slayers (the name says it all).
In addition to the oral history books he’s written with Mark A. Altman, Gross’ other titles include Secret File: The Making of a Wiseguy and The Unofficial 25th Anniversary Odd Couple Companion; X-Files Confidential; Spider-Man Confidential; Planet of the Apes Revisited with Joe Russo and Larry Landsman; Rocky: The Ultimate Guide; and Stargate: SG1 — In Their Own Words.
MARK A. ALTMAN is a television and motion picture writer/producer/director who is the showrunner/executive producer of the sci-fi series, Pandora, distributed globally by Sony Pictures Television. Previously he served as Co-Executive Producer of The Librarians (TNT), Agent X (TNT), Castle (ABC), and Necessary Roughness (USA) among others. He also recently completed work on the gonzo documentary spotlighting the pop culture touchstones of the seminal moviegoing year of 1982, Greatest Geek Year Ever!
His first motion picture was the award winning, Free Enterprise, starring William Shatner and Eric McCormack, which he wrote and produced and for which he won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best New Writer. In addition, Altman has sold numerous pilots and feature films and produced the $30 million film adaptation of the bestselling video game, DOA: Dead Or Alive, which was released by Dimension Films. He is also a producer of the House of the Dead series, based on the videogame from Sega, released by Lionsgate. In addition, he produced director Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and writer James Gunn’s feature film, the superhero satire, The Specials.
Altman has also directed several comedy specials including Aries Spiers: Comedy Blueprint for NBC/Universal and Comedy Dynamics and in 2019, he launched the Electric Surge video podcast network with producer Dean Devlin (Independence Day, Stargate) which produces and distributes numerous podcasts spotlighting pop culture topics with notable experts in their field. The video podcasts which include The 4:30 Movie and Inglorious Treksperts, the only podcast for Star Trek fans with a life, which he co-hosts, along with Best Movies Never Made is also available on the streaming OTT platform, Electric Now, as well as through traditional podcast providers.
His bestselling two-volume book with Edward Gross, The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek, was released by St. Martin’s Press in 2016 to unanimous critical acclaim, including raves in The Wall Street Journal, Booklist and Publishers Weekly. Altman and Gross have since collaborated on oral histories of Battlestar Galactica (So Say We All), the James Bond films and Spymania (Nobody Does It Better), and the complete Star Wars saga (Secrets of the Force).
Altman is a former entertainment journalist as well. In the past, he has contributed to such newspapers and magazines as The Boston Globe, Written By, L'Cinefage, Film Threat, The Guardian, Brandeis Magazine and many others, including the legendary genre journal, Cinefantastique for which he launched their independent film division, CFQ Films, which produced numerous successful genre features for both DTV and VOD release.
He has also spoken at numerous industry events and conventions, including ShowBiz Expo as well as the Variety/Final Draft Screenwriters Panel at the Cannes Film Festival. He was a juror at the prestigious Sitges Film Festival in Barcelona, Spain. He has been a frequent guest and panelist at Comic-Con held annually in San Diego, CA and a two-time juror for the Comic-Con Film Festival. In addition to being a graduate of the Writers Guild of America Showrunners Training Program, he is a member of the Television Academy.
"This is no run-of-the-mill 'making of' book; rather, it's an insightful and sometimes surprising appreciation of a popular series and the genres and filmmakers that inspired its creators." --Booklist
"A must-read for John Wick fans, and a great behind-the-scenes looks at contemporary action films." --Library Journal
"A layered closeup look at an explosive series from the people involved in the creation." --Kirkus