There are some obvious questions to ask following the ending to John Wick: Chapter 4, in which Keanu Reeves’ John Wick kind of, like, dies, namely: Is John Wick actually dead?
While the franchise is continuing in two different directions—a spinoff movie Ballerina, starring Ana de Armas, and a spinoff prequel series The Continental, starring Mel Gibson—the future of the John Wick film series itself is a bit vague.
One factor is obviously Keanu Reeves. The actor has left the door open, explaining in an interview from earlier this year that another installment depends on reaction. “You have to see how the audience responds to what we did,” Reeves said. “The only reason we’ve had a chance to make these movies is that people have liked what we have done. So I think we have to wait and see how the audience responds to it. Hopefully they’ll like it.”
Initial audience reaction seems strong. Still, Reeves hasn’t yet addressed the film’s ending, the one where his character is kind of dead.
Even a dead John Wick may not derail the franchise. (Chapter 4 introduces several new characters who could continue the story even without Keanu’s Wick; though, it would make the next film’s title a bit awkward.)
Of course, John Wick could come back from the dead. (We never really see a body, and the character has survived pretty grievous injuries before.)
Here are director Chad Stahelski’s comments about a fifth installment last summer:
“[As of right] now it is the studio’s [full] intention to continue the franchise. And look, I’m not going to– we’ve all seen directors and producers where they go, “Yes. I don’t know. I guess I’ll do five,” or it’s like, “Oh, yeah, yeah.” And I’m just, “Look, man. ‘John Wick 1’ was a goof. We made it as a fun little action movie that we’d like to see.” And the fact that now nine years later, it’s changed our lives. It changed my life. It changed Keanu’s life. It’s changed a lot of other people’s lives. And people still want to see more.”
So, again, the answer is: Who knows.
Before Chapter 4’s premiere, however, Stahelski spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, giving a more concrete answer to the franchise’s future:
“In our minds, Keanu and I are done for the moment. We’re going to give John Wick a rest. I’m sure the studio has a plan. If everyone loves it and it goes kooky, then we’ll take a quiet minute. Wicks always, for some weird reason, always get the latest release date in Japan. It’s always like, three months later. If it’s the same this time, we’ll do a Japanese tour and release the movie in September. Keanu and I will take the long trip to Tokyo, we’ll sit in the Imperial Hotel Scotch Bar and go, “What do you think?” We’ll have a couple 20-year-old whiskies and write some ideas on napkins. If those ideas stick, maybe we’ll make a movie.”
So it seems the door is open both at a production level and at a narrative level.
The only remaining question might be: if John Wick 5 happens, will John Wick actually be in it?
Joshua St Clair is an Assistant Editor at Men’s Health Magazine.
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