The first John Wick was a massive success and the sequel performed even better, cementing the franchise as the current generation's action standard-bearer. The filmmakers plan to expand the story's boundaries, beginning with a third film. It may not hit screens for a few years, but fans received our first bit of information regarding the third movie, thanks to a new interview with John Wick: Chapter 2 director Chad Stahelski.
What Direction Will The Franchise Go Next?
At the end of John Wick: Chapter 2, we see John Wick escape with a huge worldwide bounty on his head because he had broken the rules for international assassins by killing Santino D'Antonio in the Continental dining room. This ending wasn't necessarily a cliffhanger, but it opened up a wide variety of opportunities for the next sequel and beyond.
Director Chad Stahelski told Collider that he has a clear direction in mind to expand the franchise’s mythology while differentiating itself from the bigger-is-better mentality of James Bond or superhero films:
“We want, not so much to go bigger on the third one, but to show you more of the intricacies of the world… I feel like there are all these different subtleties that I skipped over in Number Two, that I’d like to go back to on [chapter three] and show you the inner workings of different parts of New York. So rather than massive set pieces, I’d like to show you cooler and more intricate ones… I think it would be a mistake budget wise and creatively to just go big and blow up a freeway. That’s not our gig. That’s a comic book or a Bond gig. We want to show you cool and intricate details. What are those little details in everyday life? Hopefully – we make people look at garbage collectors and cleaner vans and homeless people a little differently now.”
In the wrong hands, John Wick could easily become another blockbuster franchise that is nothing more than a huge blotch of visual effects and CGI — but instead, the films will stay on the practical side of things. It is exciting to hear that we will learn more about the world of John Wick, as there is so much to dive into and explore.
Next, Stahelski discussed where the movies will take John Wick's character. While it may seem that this answer is one huge mystery, the director makes it clear that the first two films have already planted hints for where it's going next:
"We’re very comfortable with where we want [John Wick] to go in the third one and what Keanu wants to do. If you really watch the first and second one, there’s only one place it can go — so I’ll let you sort that out.
It’s about John revealing it. It’s not about you finding a hidden book or a secret map about who John Wick is. Anyone watching can start piecing it together. You know he’s had some serious training. Was it military? Ehh — he kind of looks military. Where’s he from? Well — he speaks all these languages. We’re giving you the pieces and I think it’s always good… Hopefully in five years, you and your buddies will talk about how ‘he’s this or he’s that.’ We’ll give you a couple more pieces and let you stitch it together."
This is definitely the right way to go. Do we need a whole prequel movie explaining John Wick's backstory? Absolutely not, but the upcoming installments will give us a few more puzzle pieces to see the full picture.
Lastly, the director revealed that "we’re currently in the middle of writing it right now,” and filming will start depending on "how fast can we get our shit together," likely "by the end of this year, the beginning of next year."
Given this comment, it sounds like the producers are aiming for a fall start date but don't want to jump the gun and confirm it. Even if it begins filming early next year, I believe an ideal release date for the third movie could be February 2019, only two years after the release of John Wick: Chapter 2. We can only hope that it happens, as this third film sounds like it will be even more epic than the previous two installments — but, as Stahelski explained, not so over-the-top epic that it loses its own unique identity.
Are you guys looking forward to John Wick: Chapter 3? What do you take from these comments? Tell me below!