'John Wick 4' Release Date Will Only Happen if You Want It, Director Says
Chad Stahelski, the outspoken director of the John Wick movies, makes it clear that he only makes them if audiences want them. With John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum in theaters on May 17, the answer to the question “Is there a fourth John Wick?” is obvious: Only if you see John Wick 3.
“We react to you,” Stahelski tells Inverse. “If you spend a billion dollars on Avengers and do $300 million in pre-sales, they’re gonna keep making Avengers. If you boycott a shitty movie, they’ll stop making them.”
In John Wick: Chapter 3, Keanu Reeves’ contract killer is forced to go on the run when a $14 million bounty is placed on his head. The story has only escalated from 2014’s John Wick, co-directed by Stahelski and David Leitch, when Wick came out of retirement to to kill the men who killed his puppy.
Without spoiling too much, Chapter 3 ends in such a way that could easily lead into a fourth film. But securing sequels has never been the plan for the shepherds of John Wick’s story.
“We were one of those odd little properties that got really fucking lucky in today’s market of superhero big budget stuff,” Stahelski tells Inverse. “To come from a tiny, $18 million dollar, kill-20-people over a puppy to where we are now, we’re very thankful.”
The original John Wick, released in 2014, earned box office success that has spawned two sequels and a TV spin-off in development at Starz.
“It’s about crew,” he adds. “I’ve known Keanu for a long time. To do a successful franchise with someone you know and grow with and feel absolutely thankful to collaborate with, it’s cool. Creatively, fuck it’s cool.”
He continues, “You know how many directors have to step into a property and abide by rules of a studio? We stepped into a project that was sidelined by most people so they kind of left us alone, and have grown into our shoes. We were left alone to do whatever we wanted to do.”
Such freedom means Stahelski has more or less taken John Wick’s story movie by movie, with no grand plan for a happy ending. In other interviews with the press, the director has been more clear about the future of John Wick: Not only will Wick never get a happy ending, but Stahelski will only write and direct another movie if audiences see them.
“John may survive all this shit, but at the end of it, there’s no happy ending. He’s got nowhere to go,” Stahelski told IndieWire. “How do you fucking want me to end it? Do you think he’s going to ride off into the fucking sunset? He’s killed 300 fucking people and he’s just going to [walk away], everything’s okay?”
He continues, “He’s fucked for the rest of his life. It’s just a matter of time.”
John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum hits theaters on May 17.