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SYFY WIRE John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

'John Wick' almost ended the entire franchise on a cliffhanger - stream the trilogy on Peacock

Everyone's favorite renegade assassin almost left us with a totally open-ended finale.

By Matthew Jackson
Keanu Reeves as John Wick and Donnie Yen as Caine in John Wick 4.

This spring, John Wick will return for his fourth big-screen adventure when the aptly named John Wick: Chapter 4 hits theaters. It's a welcome return for everyone's favorite renegade assassin, and the film will pick up on a lot of loose ends left by the third film. But according to director Chad Stahelski, all those loose ends were almost left dangling forever.

"After number three, Keanu and I were both fairly done," Stahelski told Total Film in an interview promoting Chapter 4. "We kind of wanted to just end on a cliffhanger."

In fairness to Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves, it would have been a heck of a way to go out. Chapter 3 wrapped up after John (Reeves) and his friends Winston (Ian McShane) and Charon (Lance Reddick) successfully defended The Continental (the hotel that serves as the namesake for the upcoming Peacock series) from a High Table deconsecration team. The Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillon) sent by the High Table then made Winston an offer: Save The Continental, but kill Wick. So, Winston put a few bullets in John and sent him falling off the hotel roof, only for the camera to reveal that John had somehow gotten up and walked away. It's an almost Halloween-type conclusion, and sends the audience away from the film with the idea that John Wick, the boogeyman of the assassin world, is still out there, everywhere, waiting to get his revenge. 

But of course, Wick's coming back, so what changed? According to Stahelski, it all came down to a bar in Tokyo, a few glasses of Scotch, and a conversation with Reeves.

"It's been months since we wrapped [Chapter 3]," Stahelski recalled. "We sit in the Scotch bar, talking about what a good time we had, and 'Oh my God, it was painful, but it wasn't that painful.' Then you start talking like, 'Wouldn't it be great if...? We wish we could have done this...' And usually by the end of that press tour, we're like 'Hey man, we should write another script.'"

And so, John Wick: Chapter 4 was born, giving us yet another opportunity to see Wick tear into his fellow assassins on the big screen. The next Wick action spectacle arrives in theaters on March 24. Peacock's The Continental -- a prequel series which takes place in 1975 and centers around young hotel manager, Winston Scott (Colin Woodell playing the character made famous on the big screen by McShane) -- debuts later this year.

In the meantime, head over to Peacock for John Wick, John Wick Chapter 2, and John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum to get refreshed on all the puppy snuggles and gunplay.