Keanu Reeves’ John Wick franchise has immensely contributed to the action genre in recent times. The brutal and sleek action style accompanied by some great visuals make the franchise a treat for the eyes. The franchise consists of four movies to date and it can’t be denied that they have only gotten better with each part. But it doesn’t look like the Canadian Legend is a huge fan of returning to the franchise repeatedly.
The fourth movie in the franchise ended with a note of surprise when Wick faced his apparent death after a long successful battle with the High Table. Now if the sources are to be believed, then it was Keanu Reeves himself who was one of the major reasons for that ending. The journey of four movies took a toll on the Speed actor and he requested the makers to kill him off the franchise.
What forced Keanu Reeves to think about leaving John Wick?
Keanu Reeves‘ dedication and love for the action franchise can be felt very well by observing his action skills in every scene. The Street Kings actor follows a rigorous schedule and is always seen trying his best in the action scenes so that they can look authentic and excellent on the screen. However, this also comes with its cons as the movies drain Reeves emotionally and physically and make it difficult for him.
According to the latest statement by producer Basil Iwanyk to Collider, the ending of John Wick: Chapter 4 was totally Keanu Reeves’ idea as he wanted eagerly the makers to kill him off. But the makers also had their plans and didn’t feel it right to let go of the whole franchise altogether. This led to the open-endedness of the latest movie which is still subjected to much discussion among fans.
“After the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th movie, making these films is so exhausting and it destroys Keanu, physically and emotionally. By the end, he’s always like, ‘I can’t do this again,’ and we agree with him. The guy is just a shell of himself because he just goes off and goes for it. He was like, ‘I wanna be definitively killed at the end of this movie.’ We were like, ‘You know, we’ll leave a 10% little opening.'”
However, it turned out to be true that the makers did have plans as they didn’t delay announcing more projects in the franchise soon after the success of the fourth part. While there are several spin-offs already slated to take place, the billion-dollar franchise is also heading toward a fifth installment despite Keanu Reeves’ struggles with returning repeatedly.
When will Keanu Reeves return as John Wick?
Even though he requested the makers constantly to be killed off in the movies, he also doesn’t look in the mood to retire. Looks like the 59-year-old has still more juice left in him as he is up to return in John Wick: Chapter 5 but there’s a condition involved.
In an interview with Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the director Chad Stahelski confirmed that both he and Keanu Reeves are up for return, but only when they figure the story out. The director added that they will take their time to think actively and work on other projects in the meantime as the fourth part already delivered a quite satisfactory and conclusive ending to the franchise.
“Yeah, Keanu and I have talked. Keanu, if you ask him right now, ‘Would you do John Wick 5?’ He’d be, ‘f–k yeah’. But then he’d look and go, ‘Well, what is it? I have no f–king idea.’ That’s all. Believe me. It’s not like, ‘We’re going to figure it out today.’ Like, look man, we’re going to do our other stuff for a little bit, but if I was driving in the car or if I was walking the dog and an idea hit me, within 30 seconds I’d be on the phone to Keanu and we’d be riffing.”
Basil Iwanyk also presented his concern about not overdoing their IP which is now set to release the spin-off series The Continental and the movie Ballerina. The former series is a three-episode saga centered around the widely renowned hotel chain housing assassins in the John Wick universe, while the latter starring Ana de Armas in the lead is set between the third and fourth movie in the franchise. Ballerina is scheduled for a 2024 release and is also set to have a special appearance from John Wick himself.
The upcoming addition to the franchise, The Continental will be streamed on September 22, 2023, on Peacock.