Keanu Reeves has found a second life as an action star after “The Matrix” thanks to the mega-successful “John Wick” franchise. The 2014 original was a critical favorite that turned into a $43 million sleeper hit at the box office, while the 2017 sequel more than doubled the original with $92 million in the U.S. It’s no wonder Lionsgate is moving forward with the next installment, “John Wick: Chapter 3.”
The studio teased the next “John Wick” sequel at CinemaCon, releasing the following official synopsis:
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is on the run for two reasons…he’s being hunted for a global $14 million dollar open contract on his life, and for breaking a central rule: taking a life on Continental Hotel grounds. The victim was a member of the High Table who ordered the open contract. John should have already been executed, except the Continental’s manager, Winston, has given him a one-hour grace period before he’s “excommunicado” – membership revoked, banned from all services and cut off from other members. John uses the service industry to stay alive as he fights and kills his way out of New York City.”
The synopsis shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who saw “Chapter 2.” The film left off on the very cliffhanger mentioned above, but it’s reassuring to know the franchise won’t be jet-setting across the world. The synopsis implies the third film won’t have much of a time jump and will instead focus on Reeves’ assassin escaping New York City. The story more or less sounds like the streamlined plot of the original mixed with the “fight for your life” storyline of the sequel.
Chad Stahelski, who co-directed the first movie and went solo on the second, will be back behind the camera for “Chapter 3.” Speaking to Collider last year, the filmmaker said he intended for the franchise to go back to basics in the third installment. Unlike the second film, which created a more epic scope and a mythology for the film’s world of assassins, “Chapter 3” looks to get intimate and exclusively follow Reeves kicking ass in his escape from New York.
“We want, not so much to go bigger on the third one, but to show you more of the intricacies of the world,” Stahelski said. “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,” he continued. “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.”
Lionsgate has already assigned a May 17, 2019 release date for the movie. Production is now underway.