John Wick 5 Could Pull a Trick Straight Out of the Star Wars Playbook
The franchise might appear to be in a tough spot, but there’s an obvious solution.
The future of John Wick has never been murkier. Chad Stahelski, the stuntman-turned-producer who directed all four movies seems to be done with the franchise. And if you read between the lines, Keanu Reeves seems ready to move on too. Meanwhile, John Wick producer Erica Lee says another sequel is all but certain.
What does the future hold for John Wick? Believe it or not, the franchise could borrow a move from the Star Wars playbook. But to go any further, we’ll need to wade into spoiler territory. Consider yourself warned: Spoilers for John Wick: Chapter 4 ahead.
Let’s get this out of the way: John Wick is dead. The unstoppable assassin meets his end in Chapter 4 and a final scene shows his grave, placed next to his wife. Is the Keanu Reeves character really dead? Of course, it’s possible a future movie could reveal it was all a ruse and Wick is actually laying on a beach in Hawaii, but let’s assume for a moment that the character is truly deceased. There’s still a way to tell more John Wick stories without losing Keanu.
One word: prequel.
Wait! Before you throw your computer out the window in disgust, hear me out. I have a very specific pitch here, and it’s based on a recent quote from John Wick franchise director Chad Stahelski. In an interview with Collider, Stahelski explained the entire timeline and noted one interesting detail that sets John Wick: Chapter 4 apart.
“Well, we figured the first three movies almost happened in like a week, week and a half, somewhere in there,” he said. “That’s my version, I think Keanu’s is a little different, and I think [John Wick 4] is like six months later.”
Focus on that last bit. John Wick: Chapter 4 takes place six months after the previous movie. That means there are six months of adventures we haven’t seen in between Wick’s rescue at the end of Chapter 3 and the chase through the desert that kicks off Chapter 4. For all we know, he fought an entire army of assassins in that time and visited countless other Continental Hotels across the world.
In other words, there are plenty of stories left to tell with John Wick’s character that won’t cheapen the ending of Chapter 4 or undo the simple brilliance of the original John Wick. Maybe instead of Chapter 5 we should be holding out hope for Chapter 3.5.
Star Wars has notably done the same thing for years. Ignore the prequel trilogy, which focused on filling out the canon over telling an interesting story. Instead, consider Lucasfilm’s recent successes like Rogue One and The Mandalorian, or even animated shows like Clone Wars and Rebels. These stories all have one thing in common: They take place in the empty spaces between pre-existing movies and enrich all of Star Wars in the process. They also feature a mix of new and old characters, breathing new life into the franchise while also giving additional depth to fan favorites.
Now, John Wick has a chance to do the same thing. Another movie (or show) set in between Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 could add even more depth to this universe. It could reveal new details about Wick himself along with other popular characters like the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) and recent additions like Caine (Donnie Yen).
And if you’re not sold, consider this. Lionsgate isn’t going to stop making John Wick movies anytime soon. So if there’s no avoiding it, why not at least do something interesting with a proven formula that worked for one of the most uneven franchises in the galaxy?