Director Chad Stahelski discusses plans for more John Wick sequels
Audiences are prepping themselves for the highly-anticipated third installment of the acclaimed action thriller series John Wick, and while the story almost seems to be ramping up to an epic conclusion, franchise director Chad Stahelski sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss plans for the future.
“I enjoy making these movies because there’s no limit,” says Stahelski. “We create our own mythology, and we have a studio that both stays out of our way and supports us on the wacky decisions. If people go see the movie, and it makes money, and they came back to us, Keanu and I have ideas for days. I could live here for the rest of my career. If people like it and want to watch more, I could think of way worse ways to spend your career. But, you know, we’re in the entertainment business. We’ll let the audience figure that out.”
John Wick started in 2014 and was considered a surprise hit, making almost triple its budget at the box office and receiving acclaim from critics, many naming it one of the best action movies of 2014 and one of Reeves’ best performances of his career. The second installment hit theaters in 2017 and was an even bigger hit than its predecessor, grossing nearly twice the box office earnings of the first film and receiving even better praise than the first film.
The franchise is set to expand past the main films with a spin-off series entitled The Continental currently in the works at STARZ with Sons of Anarchy writer Chris Collins attached as showrunner and David Leitch (John Wick, Atomic Blonde), Stahelski and Reeves set to produce the series and Stahelski set to direct the pilot. A spin-off film entitled Ballerina following a child assassin in the franchise’s world is currently in the works, while a potential crossover between Atomic Blonde and the franchise’s titular protagonist has been in talks since July 2017.
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is on the run for two reasons… he’s being hunted for a global $14 million dollar open contract on his life, and for breaking a central rule: taking a life on Continental Hotel grounds. The victim was a member of the High Table who ordered the open contract. John should have already been executed, except the Continental’s manager, Winston, has given him a one-hour grace period before he’s ‘Excommunicado’ – membership revoked, banned from all services and cut off from other members. John uses the service industry to stay alive as he fights and kills his way out of New York City.
Halle Berry, Angelica Huston, Asia Kate Dillon, Mark Dacascos, and Jason Mantzoukas are also starring in the film alongside Yayan Ruhian, Cecep Arif Rahman, and Tiger Hu Chen. Ian McShane, Common, Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick, and Ruby Rose are expected to reprise their roles in the sequel, with Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine) reportedly playing the main villain.
Once again written by Derek Kolstad with Chad Stahelski returning as director, John Wick 3: Parabellum is set to arrive May 17, 2019.
The world of John Wick will continue to expand as well beyond the third film with the spin-off TV series The Continental in the works at STARZ with acclaimed writer/producer Chris Collins (Sons of Anarchy, The Wire) executive producing; and with the spin-off feature film Ballerina, which follows a child assassin in the world of John Wick.