Is John Wick Really Dead? The Movie’s Producer and Director Finally Give a Clear Answer

The Baba Yaga may not be gone forever, but bringing him back will be tricky.

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Keanu Reeves as John Wick in John Wick: Chapter 4
John Wick Week

The John Wick saga can’t go on forever — or can it? Despite all the success this unlikely action franchise has accrued over the years (enough to spawn four movies, two spin-offs, and countless clones) director Chad Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves claim they’re willing to stop making John Wick movies at any time. That’s why Reeves’ reluctant mercenary seemingly met his end in John Wick: Chapter 4, after a whole lot of foreshadowing and an old-fashioned duel with Donnie Yen’s scene stealer, Caine. But Is John Wick really dead? The answer is a little more complicated than you think.

Wick’s demise is admittedly nebulous. According to Basil Iwanyk, producer on all four Wick films, that was a compromise with Reeves. “Making these films is so exhausting and it destroys Keanu, physically and emotionally,” Iwanyk told Collider back in September 2023. “By the end, he’s always like, ‘I can’t do this again,’ and we agree with him. The guy is just a shell of himself because he just goes off and goes for it.”

Reeves’ fatigue came to a head in John Wick: Chapter 4, enough for the actor to request his character be “definitively killed.” But given his iconic action hero status, and fans’ desire to see more Wick in the future, the creative team elected for a slightly less definitive end. “We were like, ‘You know, we’ll leave a 10 percent little opening,’” Iwanyk said.

The John Wick saga’s many brawls may finally be catching up to Keanu Reeves.


Reeves is one of a handful of Hollywood actors who does the bulk of his own fight choreography. All that wear and tear will catch up to anyone, and Reeves, 59, can’t keep doing Wick films forever. That said, he and Stahelski are still open to a John Wick 5, as are Iwanyk and the producers at Lionsgate.

“We all want another John Wick,” Iwanyk said. “We don’t know what it looks like and when it will happen, but we love each other and we love this world. It’s gonna be all hands to try to figure it out.”

While things are still very much up in the air, Reeves and his director have apparently been chatting about a possible sequel. “Keanu and I have talked,” Stahelski told Josh Horowitz on Happy Sad Confused. “Keanu, if you ask him right now, ‘Would you do John Wick 5?’ He’d be, ‘F*** yeah!’ But then he’d look and go, ‘Well, what is it? I have no f***ing idea.’”

It sounds like Reeves has had ample time to recover from the fourth John Wick, and is already warming up to the idea of returning for a fifth. That’s one hurdle down, and another — the issue of Wick’s death — could easily be solved by a scene that was reportedly cut from Chapter 4. Stahelski actually shot a scene that made it “very clear” that the character was still alive after his duel with Caine, but felt pressure to tweak it after a test screening.

“The audiences we tested with absolutely preferred the ambiguous ending,” the director told Variety. Chapter 4’s upcoming extended cut will likely feature the scene in question, and that could make it much easier to return for a fifth Wick film.

Reeves might just be back after all — if the Wick team can deal with the character’s death in Chapter 4.


In November 2023, Lionsgate executives confirmed that John Wick 5 was in the early development stages. The studio has every reason to push for more films following Reeves’ man in black, but it is up to the actor and his director at the end of the day. Stahelski told Inverse that he has “notebooks and notebooks” full of ideas for sequels, ideas that could carry the franchise from a fifth film into a ninth. “We have ideas for days,” he explained, “We just don’t have the story locked.”

Fortunately, there is a bit of time to come up with a way forward. With the franchise’s upcoming spinoff, Ballerina, pushed back a full year to 2025, the John Wick braintrust are clearly thinking hard about the future of this world. Per EW, Stahelski is assisting Ballerina director Len Wiseman in bringing a bit more action to the fore. While that’s good for the spinoff, fans could be waiting a while to learn about the fate of John Wick. Patience will be a virtue moving forward, but at least our favorite hitman isn’t completely out of the fight just yet.

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