As if losing his wife, watching his dog get beaten, falling off a skyscraper, and being seemingly resurrected from the dead wasn’t enough, John Wick apparently still has more to lose.
The famed assassin character, portrayed by Keanu Reeves in the eponymous films, returns for “John Wick: Chapter 4,” with director Chad Stahelski promising that installment is the bloodiest yet. The film currently has a March 24, 2023 release date.
“We keep finding new and interesting ways to have John Wick suffer,” the stunt coordinator turned director told The Hollywood Reporter.
Reeves, who performs most of his own stunts and fight choreography alongside Stahelski, added, “That’s where the action comes from. Figure out how to make him suffer, and then design backward.”
The “Matrix” icon continued, “I’ve called out a couple of things, like, let’s get on a horse in the desert. Let’s drive a little bit.”
And while “John Wick: Chapter 4” has been rumored to be the last “Wick” film in the “modern-day myth,” as Lionsgate chairman Joe Drake called the genre-redefining franchise at this year’s CinemaCon, star Reeves promised, “We just attack one at a time.”
“John Wick: Chapter 4” is written by Michael Finch and Shay Hatten. In addition to Reeves, the film stars Bill Skarsgård, Laurence Fishburne, Donnie Yen, Hiroyuki Sanada, Lance Reddick, Rina Sawayama, Shamier Anderson, Hiroyuki Sanada, Asia Kate Dillon, and Ian McShane.
The title itself is key: Each “Wick” installment truly is a chapter, as Stahleski noted. “Just like an author; write the chapter, scratch head, write next chapter,” he said. The director previously told IndieWire that he actually never expected the original 2014 film to spur sequels, plus an Ana de Armas-led “Ballerina” spin-off and Starz series prequel “The Continental.”
“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 of how Reeves’ storyline may end. “Honestly, I challenge you right now, here’s a question to you: 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’s just going to fall in love with a love interest? If you’re this fucking guy, if this guy really exist[ed], how is this guy’s day going to end? He’s fucked for the rest of his life. It’s just a matter of time.”