I understand why Viggo killed Marcus, he screwed him over. But why would Viggo then call John Wick and rub it in that he killed his friend and the man that just saved his life?

The whole first half of the movie Viggo was the smart one realizing how bad it would be to piss off John Wick then seeing it actually play out, but right when he's free and clear he goes out of his way to deliberately anger him.

  • 1
    Vigo has already lost everything, his power,reputation, respect from powerful people, power he had on powerful people,his son and his men...everything. So Vigo just wanted hurt Wick, as worse as he can..
    – Vishwa
    Mar 19, 2018 at 6:34

3 Answers 3


Pissing off John Wick doesn't matter anymore. Viggo has already sent men to kill Wick, and even put a $2 million bounty on his head by the time he killed Marcus, so John is already pissed off (from Viggo's point of view):

Viggo tries to talk John out of seeking retribution, but John silently refuses. Viggo then sends a twelve-man hit squad to John's house, but John kills them all and has the bodies professionally removed. An unsurprised Viggo places a $2 million bounty on John's head and personally offers the contract to Marcus, John's mentor. [Wikipedia]

Besides, the plan Viggo had in mind by telling John Wick about it is to have Perkins ambush him:

Perkins sees that John and Marcus have been in contact and tells Viggo, who has Marcus beaten for information before executing him in his home. Viggo calls John to report this, planning to have Perkins ambush him. [Wikipedia]

But Perkins dies (get executed by Winston) before she could do so.

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    This line is the answer Pissing off John Wick doesn't matter anymore, other stuff is not IMO
    – Vishwa
    Mar 20, 2018 at 12:32
  • It didn't seem like John was too concerned about the $2 million bounty tho, it really wasn't enough to really piss him off enough to hunt and kill Viggo.. if it did he could've killed Viggo when he had a gun to him earlier. The only thing really pissing John Wick off enough was the phone call rubbing in that he killed Marcus. That part seemed out of character and stupid for Viggo. Just kill him and don't call.
    – John k
    Mar 22, 2018 at 21:15
  • @Johnk then perhaps the second half of my answer is what you're looking for. Viggo called John so that John will get pissed off and come for him, just as Viggo planned, then Perkins will ambush him when he does come for Viggo. But Perkins dies. BTW I don't think John got pissed off by Marcus' death. After all, Marcus was a hitman, so getting killed is not unusual, specially from someone who you've double crossed. Remember earlier, Perkins killed John's neighbor at The Continental, who was also a friend, but he still didn't get pissed off by her. Mar 22, 2018 at 23:24

An eye for an eye.

Before killing Marcus, this is what Viggo says to Marcus,

You pulled the contract. And while it was open, you had every chance, every opportunity to kill John Wick. And if you had done your job, my son would be still alive!

Viggo is devastated by his son's death and now he seeks revenge on John Wick, so he decides to hurt him most by killing his close friend Marcus.

Viggo's plan was to kill Marcus and hurt John Wick by letting him know and flee the place in a chopper. But you know what happens when someone pisses off John Wick.


I think the main question here is "why Viggo calls John to tell him he killed his friend?", while he could have just tried to discreetly run away far from John.
As mentioned, Viggo is smart and knows how dangerous and implacable John Wick is.

I think deep down Viggo realizes that he is not gonna make it, John will find him anyway wherever Viggo runs away.
As an organization leader, Viggo keeps up appearances by setting up an escape attempt in helicopter, but the only thing that he really hopes for any more, is a final confrontation with his old acquaintance John Wick, to go out with a bang.

In the car driving Viggo and his guys to the helicopter, we can see Viggo laughing with pleasure. During the final confrontation, he also gets opportunities to exchange punching and "tasteful" dialogue: "What happened to us John? We used to be civilized, professional." - John: "Do I look civilized to you?"

So I believe Viggo called John about Marcus because that is what settled the destiny he had chosen for himself, setting up a last fight with John, rather sooner than later.

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