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What We Want From a Final Instalment: John Wick

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By Jitin Gambhir

The John Wick franchise has a bright future ahead. The resounding success of the last entry, John Wick: Chapter 4, has paved the way for the franchise to continue. Director Chad Stahelski and franchise star Keanu Reeves had previously stated that the franchise’s future would depend on a trip to Japan and a bottle of whiskey. The good whiskey must have worked its magic, as John Wick 5 is officially in the works.

It’s astonishing to think that a Hollywood franchise with four films, and possibly the best action franchise of the 21st century, was born out of Keanu Reeves seeking revenge for a murdered puppy almost ten years ago. The franchise has already pushed the boundaries of action filmmaking to its perceived limits, making it hard to imagine how John Wick 5 could possibly get any bigger. However, there are still ambiguous characters and plot points the fifth instalment needs to explore.

What We Want From a Final Installment



One of the essential aspects of the franchise’s success has been its supporting characters. John Wick Chapter 4 gave Keanu Reeves’ titular protagonist a very definitive ending, leaving many to question a fifth entry in the franchise. However, the last four installments have laid the foundations for future films to explore the world beyond Reeves’s character.

Each movie introduced audiences to new assassins who fought against and alongside John Wick. While many of these supporting characters met their eventual demise, there are several whose futures have been left open-ended. Characters like Cassian (played by Common) in John Wick: Chapter 2 or Sofia (Halle Berry) in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum are still alive in the John Wick universe and have yet to have their characters fully explored beyond simply helping and opposing Wick. The most recent entry, John Wick: Chapter 4, featured several new assassins who are perfect for future installments of the franchise, like Tracker (Shamier Anderson) and Akira (Rina Sawayama).

The John Wick franchise also features its own internal mythology, code of conduct, and power hierarchy. The first four movies have already given insight into characters like Winston (Ian McShane) and the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne), whose stories remain unfinished. The events of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum have also left the future of the High Table uncertain, meaning John Wick 5 could explore the inevitable power struggle between the remaining members of the High Table as they search for a replacement for The Elder — who met his demise at the hands of John Wick. As well as its larger-than-life action, recent entries in the John Wick franchise have expertly utilized their lavish settings within their action design, setting the framework for the movies to come.

Future entries could take inspiration from an older Keanu Reeves-led action movie, Point Break, and incorporate aerial stunts — imagine a John Wick-style gunfight at 3000 feet while henchmen are desperately fighting to get hold of the one remaining parachute. Although a surfboarding fight scene might be a little too silly for the John Wick franchise, future installments could also take inspiration from Point Break’s water stunts, as audiences are still yet to see any gripping fight scenes underwater, as John Wick has to fight against his own oxygen capacity, as well as an endless wave of red shirts.

John Wick 5 is still in early stages of development, and Lionsgate has yet to announce a release date. Given the franchise typically takes at least 2–4 years between entries, and there is still a mountain of planning for Lionsgate and Stahelski (if he is returning for a fifth installment) to do before production can begin, it is likely that John Wick 5 won’t be hitting theaters until way into 2026 at least. Until then, there is still the Ballerina spin-off movie, starring Ana de Armas, set to release in 2024, as well as the Peacock original series The Continental set in the New York branch of the titular hotel during the 1950s.

The future of the John Wick franchise is very much alive. After the incredible success of the last entry, John Wick: Chapter 4director Chad Stahelski and franchise star Keanu Reeves said the franchise’s future would depend on a trip to Japan and a bottle of whiskey. It must have been some good whiskey because John Wick 5 is officially happening.

It’s hard to believe that a 4-film Hollywood franchise, and possibly the best action franchise of the 21st Century, spawned from Keanu Reeves getting revenge for a murdered puppy almost 10 years ago. The franchise has already pushed the boundaries of action filmmaking to its perceived limits, making it hard to imagine how John Wick 5 could possibly get any bigger. However, there are still ambiguous characters and plot points the fifth installment needs to explore.

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John Wick 5 Needs to Expand the Supporting Characters

Donnie Yen in John Wick 4
Lionsgate

 

It’s hard to ignore that John Wick Chapter 4 gave Keanu Reeves’ titular protagonist a very definitive ending, leaving many to question a fifth entry in the franchise. However, the last four installments, as well as showcasing Reeves’ badass action skills, have laid the foundations for future films to explore the world beyond Reeves’s character.

Each movie introduced audiences to new assassins who fought against and alongside John Wick. While many of these supporting characters met their inevitable demise, there are several whose futures have been left open-ended. Characters like Cassian (played by Common) in John Wick: Chapter 2 or Sofia (Halle Berry) in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum are still alive in the John Wick universe and have yet to have their characters fully explored beyond simply helping and opposing Wick.

The most recent entry, John Wick: Chapter 4featured several new assassins who are perfect for future installments of the franchise, like Tracker (Shamier Anderson) and Akira (Rina Sawayama).

RELATED: John Wick 4 Director Talks Nunchucks, Says He & Keanu Reeves Must Get Even Better for John Wick 5

The John Wick franchise also features its own internal mythologycode of conduct, and power hierarchy. The first four movies have already given insight into characters like Winston (Ian McShane) and the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne), whose stories remain unfinished. The events of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum have also left the future of the High Table uncertain, meaning John Wick 5 could explore the inevitable power struggle between the remaining members of the High Table as they search for a replacement for The Elder — who met his demise at the hands of John Wick.

As well as its larger-than-life action, recent entries in the John Wick franchise have expertly utilized their lavish settings within their action design, setting the framework for the movies to come. John Wick: Chapter 4 featured Rina Sawayama’s Akira fighting on the rooftops of Osaka with a katana and a bow and arrow, and Chad Stahelski incorporating the bustling traffic of the Arc de Triomphe into Wick’s race to the dueling location.

There are so many places John Wick 5 could take the franchise. Audiences have been desperate to see more of the Ruska Roma since their introduction in Chapter 3. It’s possible that John Wick 5 could fly audiences to Slavic Europe while incorporating the renowned Russian martial art Sambo — a blend of wrestling and kickboxing — into its fight choreography, as Ruska Roma members were shown training in wrestling during Chapter 3.

John Wick 5 Can Still Feature Bigger Stunts

John Wick 4 ending with Keanu Reeves
Lionsgate

Despite initially appearing as another forgettable action B-Movie, John Wick blasted audiences away with its gorgeous action set pieces, each framed with stunning wide shots to fully showcase the intricacy of the fight choreography. Each entry in the franchise has consistently gone higher and pushed further than its predecessor, and if Lionsgate has green-lit a fifth installment, it means Stahelski still hasn’t found his limit.

Audiences have already been treated to so many death-defying stunts and visually stunning fight scenes like the numerous neon-lit nightclub fights involving waves of nameless henchmen or the exhausting plummet down the 300 steps of the Sacré-Coeur.

There are still many areas of stunt performance the franchise has yet to touch on, though. Future entries could take inspiration from an older Keanu Reeves-led action movie, Point Breakand incorporate aerial stunts — imagine a John Wick-style gunfight at 3000 feet while henchmen are desperately fighting to get hold of the one remaining parachute.

Although a surfboarding fight scene might be a little too silly for the John Wick franchise, future installments could also take inspiration from Point Break‘s water stunts, as audiences are still yet to see any gripping fight scenes underwater, as John Wick has to fight against his own oxygen capacity, as well as an endless wave of red shirts.

John Wick 5 is still far off, as the only news on the project comes from the Lionsgate executive. Considering the franchise typically takes at least 2–4 years between entries, and there is still a mountain of planning for Lionsgate and Stahelski (if he is returning for a fifth installment) to do before production can begin, it is likely that John Wick 5 won’t be hitting theatres until way into 2026 at least.

Until then, there is still the Ballerina spin-off movie, starring Ana de Armas, set to release in 2024, as well as the Peacock original series The Continentalset in the New York branch of the titular hotel during the 1950s.

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