The world is experiencing an extreme case of Keanu-mania these days, and it has come as a real benefit to the JOHN WICK franchise. Five years ago, the property came out of nowhere in the form of a cool action movie that helped revitalize THE MATRIX star’s career, and now, we have gotten to a point where JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM is a $300 million global phenomenon. Needless to say, this series isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, which is why it’s no surprise that a fourth chapter is now scheduled for release on May 21, 2021.
It will be only the second time that one of these titles has been given a summer release, as the first film came out in October 2014 and JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 opened in February 2017. But it’s hard to argue with the strategy after seeing the success of JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM.
To this point, screenwriter Derek Kolstad has held the pen for all of the movies in this series — first introducing audiences to Keanu Reeves’ titular character as a retired assassin trying to emotionally recover from the death of his wife (Bridget Moynahan). It was unfortunately during this grieving period that a group of upstart gangsters decided to mess with him and not only stole his car, but also killed his dog. This jump-started a mission for revenge that ultimately left hundreds of bodies in John Wick’s wake.
More recently in the story, things have been a tad bit more complicated, as John Wick has truly managed to get under the skin of the all-powerful High Table of assassins. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM saw the hero avoid being killed after a global contract was put on his head, and in the untitled JOHN WICK 4, he will be going to war against not only the High Table, but also Winston (Ian McShane), the manager of the resource-rich Continental Hotel. The plus side is that he won’t be working alone, as he will have the support of the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) and his vast network of spies all over New York City.
It is presumed that Chad Stahelski will return to direct JOHN WICK 4, given that he has been at the helm of every chapter of the franchise so far. (He co-directed the first movie in the series with ATOMIC BLONDE/DEADPOOL 2’s David Leitch). The titles actually make up every title on his resume, as the original JOHN WICK was his directorial debut, and he has yet to make any another projects in between sequels. That being said, he is attached now to also make a reboot of HIGHLANDER — signing on in early 2018 — though it’s unclear when that project will actually move into production.
Meanwhile, given its set release date, fans can probably expect JOHN WICK 4 to start filming at some point in the first half of 2020. Keanu Reeves is currently shooting his material for BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC, but his work on that project will be long over by the time he’s ready to jump back into the skin of his beloved assassin character.