May 17th next year will see some really, really magnificent violence.
John Wick, the sharp-dressed assassin who just wants to enjoy his retirement, is returning in a third film, where – and this is absolutely not a spoiler – he’ll shoot through a bunch of bad dudes’ heads while looking really great.
More and more details are coming out about it, which we’ve handily collated here.
What’s it actually called?
It’ll be released as John Wick: Chapter Three, but had the working title John Wick: Parabellum. As well as being a brand of gun, Parabellum is a reference to the Latin phrase “Si vis pacem, para bellum”, which translates as “If you want peace, prepare for war”. It’s just the “prepare for war” part. This is ever such a violent franchise.
In different territories it’s probably going to end up with some mix-and-match combinations – John Wick 3: Parabellum, etc.
Who’s coming back?
Keanu Reeves, a man so handsome that if he vomited on the pavement, that vomit would still be photographed for the cover of Vogue, is reprising the role of John Wick, a legendary hitman so good at his job he became known as the baba naga (boogeyman), who wants a quiet life but has been brought back into the game against his will. At the end of Chapter Two, he broke the rules of the Continental Hotel, and every assassin in America was basically out after him.
Ian “Lovejoy” McShane is returning as Winston, manager of the Continental Hotel, the centre of the assassin community’s world. Lance Reddick is back as the concierge, Charon. Reeves’ old Matrix buddy Laurence Fishburne is back as homeless underworld leader the Bowery King, and Common and Ruby Rose reprise their roles as angry bodyguard Cassian and mute killer Ares respectively.
McShane and Fishburne are sharing scenes in this one, which they didn’t in the last. Look at this image tweeted by the official John Wick account, and admire how Laurence Fishburne’s increasingly large face is just making him look more and more badass. He also looks significantly less homeless than in Chapter Two.
Who’s joining the John Wickiverse?
There are some really interesting people joining in Chapter Three. Oscar-winner Halle Berry is playing someone called Sofia, a badass-looking dog owner (oh dear, it doesn’t always pan out well for dogs in these films) who seems to be affiliated with the Continental.
Also joining are these four:
Asia Kate Dillon, from Billions and Orange Is The New Black, is playing the Adjudicator, a member of the High Table, the clandestine organisation that Wick has enraged.
Anjelica Huston from The Witches and The Darjeeling Limited is playing the Director of the High Table.
Mark Dacascos from The Crow: City Of Angels, Drive (not the Ryan Gosling one, the Mark Dacascos one) and Iron Chef is playing Zero, an assassin.
Jason Mantzoukas from The League, The Good Place and the podcast How Did This Get Made? is playing Mr Tick Tock. Mantozoukas is a massive fan of the John Wick franchise, and Reeves’ whole filmography, so is probably pinching himself daily.
All of these people will probably, at some point, get shot by John Wick.
Also apparently joining the cast is NBA player Boban Marjanović, a centre for the LA Clippers who is an impressive 7’4” (2.22m) tall. He’ll be playing another assassin. Look, here he is with Jennifer Lopez.
Crazily, Lopez is on a stepladder in that picture.
Also joining the cast are Hiroyuki Sanada MBE (The Ring, The Last Samurai, the Reeves-starring 47 Ronin) in an undisclosed role, while Yayan Ruhian (Mad Dog from The Raid), Cecep Arif Rahman (The Assassin from The Raid 2) and Tiger Chen as assassins. Tiger Chen and Keanu Reeves go way back – Chen did stunts on the second and third Matrix films, and Reeves was so impressed with him that he created a film for him to star in, Man Of Tai Chi, and directed it.
Are the same people making it as made the first two?
Screenwriter Derek Kolstad has written all three. The first film was co-directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, although due to regulations enforced by the Directors Guild of America on Stahelski was credited. Both Stahelski and Leitch come from stunt backgrounds – Shahelski doubled for Brandon Lee on The Crow after the star’s untimely death, while Leitch was the second unit director on films like Ninja Assassin and The Midnight Meat Train – and were recommended for the job by Reeves. Stahelski directed John Wick: Chapter Two on his own, as Leitch was making Atomic Blonde – he has since made Deadpool 2 and is working on Hobbs & Shaw, the Rock/Statham Fast & Furious spinoff. Stahelski is once again directing on his own this time round.
Will this be the last instalment?
Keanu Reeves has said that he has no desire for the franchise to be run into the ground, and Chapter Three is likely to be the final film. However, there is talk of a spin-off set in the same universe – a script about a female assassin called Ballerina is supposedly being worked into taking place in John Wick’s world.
A TV series based around the assassin’s hotel, The Continental, is currently in the works on the Starz network. Reeves is said to be making an appearance on the show, but only a minor one. Ian McShane is on American Gods, another Starz show, which could mean it’s a shoo-in that he’ll show up.
There are also unsubstantiated rumours of an Atomic Blonde/John Wick crossover, hence the trailer being up there.
When is it out?
May 17th 2019. Book it off.
(Images: Summit Entertainment)