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Everything We Know So Far About a Possible John Wick: Chapter 5
With Lionsgate hoping to go all in on the John Wick franchise, a fifth chapter seems inevitable.
It's possible that the John Wick franchise can continue without its titular assassin played by Keanu Reeves. Indeed, that's what'll happen later this month when The Continental prequel exclusively checks into Peacock for a three-night stay.
Even so, fans are holding their collective breath with anticipation, feverishly wondering if the dog-loving hitman with an iron constitution will return in a fifth installment on the big screen. Should the series conclusively end with the recent Chapter 4, it's not a bad way to wrap up John's character arc. But if he's still alive, then where might his next adventure take him? Let's take a look at everything we know so far about the potential for John Wick: Chapter 5.
Will there be a fifth John Wick movie?
Lionsgate certainly hopes there will be a fifth John Wick movie. In spite of its lengthy runtime, John Wick: Chapter 4 managed to become the highest-grossing entry of the entire franchise with over $426 million worldwide. If that doesn't scream "MAKE ANOTHER SEQUEL!!!" we don't know what does. "We’re not ready to say goodbye to Keanu with this franchise," Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Chair Joe Drake remarked earlier this year.
The ultimate irony is that another sequel was originally supposed to be shot back-to-back with Chapter 4 before the COVID-19 health crisis and a grueling production schedule got in the way. While director Chad Stahelski noted that he and Reeves were "done for the moment" not long before Drake's pronouncement, Chapter 4's runaway success at the box office prompted him to slightly soften his stance on the matter. Indeed, the filmmaker's still got plenty of ideas for action set pieces they didn't have time to include in the first four movies.
“If a gun was put to my head and they said ‘you have to make three more John Wick movies, could we sustain it with action set pieces and storyline threads and could we put in some tributes or love letter Easter eggs for things? Yeah, we could totally do that,” the director said. “The real question that Keanu and I keep saying is the why? As an audience member, what would you like to see John do? How many more times can I beat him up?”
Not long after, veteran Wick producer Basil Iwanyk explained that Stahelski and Reeves would attempt to hash out the details of a fifth installment over a few bottles of whiskey in Japan. Speaking of which, that jaunt overseas is slated to take place this month — unless it's been canceled or delayed for whatever reason.
“Once they get through their hangovers, if Keanu and Chad have figured out something cool, if they’ve an organic way back in that doesn’t feel like bullsh-t, then there will be a John Wick 5," the producer said back in May. "That trip to Japan, it’s like waiting for a boat to emerge out of the smoke, but that’s the impetus."
What would John Wick 5 be about?
That's the major sticking point. As Stahelski mentioned above, he's got a laundry list of ideas for action-packed connective tissue, but an overarching story has yet to present itself.
"I don't have a take right now," he confessed earlier this summer while speaking to Empire for the magazine's August 2023 issue. "But I could wake up tomorrow and have a cool idea that I'd pitch to Keanu, or he would pitch to me, and it might hit that chord of, 'Oh my God, we got to do this right now.' I have scenes, I have action sequences in my head that we haven't used yet that I'd love to do. If we do come back, we can't just do the same thing. I gotta do my homework. I gotta get better."
Would Keanu Reeves return for John Wick 5?
Well, it probably wouldn't be much of a John Wick movie without the title character, now would it? John technically died at the end of Chapter 4, but an alternate ending, where the character is revealed to be alive, was shot. And come on, we never actually see his corpse buried.
"If you asked [Keanu] right now, 'Would you do John Wick 5?' he'd be [like] 'F*** yeah!'" Stahelski said while appearing on a recent episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast. "But then he'd look and go, 'Well, what is it? I have no f-ckin' idea.' ... It's not like, 'We're gonna figure it out today!' Look, man, we're gonna do our other stuff for a little bit. But if I was driving in the car or I was just walking the dog and an idea hit me, within 30 seconds, I'd be on the phone with Keanu and we'd be riffing."
The real question is whether Stahelski — whose got Rainbow Six, a remake of Highlander, and an adaptation of The Ghost of Tsushima on his plate of upcoming features — would direct. He's not opposed to handing the series off to another filmmaker, who presents him with an irresistible pitch. "It'd be worth the talk," he mused during his chat with Empire, "but I'm very selfish and jealous. I'm a control freak. I want to smack you just for suggesting it. [Laughs] Like, how dare you? Of course I want to do it."
What's the latest on the John Wick spinoffs?
The franchise will chug along Friday, September 22 with the premiere of The Continental: From the World of John Wick on Peacock. Set against the backdrop of late 1970s New York, the limited series will explain how Winston Scott (played as a young man by Colin Woodell) became manager of the titular hotel for professional killers. Episodes 2 and 3 arrive September 29 and October 6, respectively.
The second spinoff, the feature-length Ballerina, hits the big screen on July 7, 2024. Centered around a member of the Ruska Roma crime family introduced in Chapter 3, the film stars several Wick newcomers Ana de Armas, Gabriel Byrne, Norman Reedus, and Catalina Sandino Moreno. In addition, Reeves (John), Ian McShane (Winston), and the late Lance Reddick (Charon) are set to make cameo appearances. Directed by Underworld vet Len Wiseman, the project takes place between the events of Chapters 3 and 4.
Lionsgate hopes to go all in on the spinoffs, with Drake alluding to several more projects, including a video game.
"We're now moving across that franchise, not just in the AAA video game space, but looking at ... the regular cadence of spinoffs, television really growing that universe so that there is a steady cadence of a franchise that there's clear appetite [for] by the audience," he said on an earnings call in late May (via Collider). "What is official is that, as you know, Ballerina is the first spinoff that comes out next year. We're in development on three others, including John Wick 5 and including television series. The Continental will be airing soon. And so, we're building out the world and when that five movie comes, will be organic — will be organically grown out of how we're starting to tell those stories. But you can rely on a regular cadence of John Wick."
How to watch all four John Wick movies
John Wick, John Wick: Chapter 2, and John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum are now available to stream on Peacock ahead of The Continental premiere.
The NBCUniversal streaming platform currently offers two monthly subscription plans: Premium ($5.99 a month with ads) and Premium Plus ($11.99 a month with no ads and download access for certain titles). If you're a student, you can enjoy the Premium plan for just $1.99 for an entire year.
John Wick: Chapter 4 is available to rent and/or purchase on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital.