Lionsgate motion picture group chair Joe Drake has indicated that a fifth installment of the main action franchise, previously thought to have ended with John Wick: Chapter 4, is now being considered due to the movie’s remarkable performance at the global box office.
Keanu Reeves reprises his role as the iconic assassin in John Wick: Chapter 4, directed by Chad Stahelski. The action-packed film received excellent reviews and an A CinemaScore from audiences, resulting in a whopping $73.8 million box office collection in the domestic market. Its overseas debut was equally impressive, with the movie earning $67.6 million from 71 markets, setting a new series record on all fronts and bringing its global start to $141.4 million.
Box office success prompts reconsideration of John Wick 5
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Despite the challenge of continuing the John Wick franchise after the apparent demise of Keanu Reeves’ character in Chapter 4, Lionsgate’s Joe Drake has hinted that a fifth installment is now being considered. This marks a change of heart for director Chad Stahelski and Reeves, who previously believed Chapter 4 was the end. Stahelski had even considered filming the fourth and fifth movies simultaneously, but this plan was abandoned after deciding on the ending for Chapter 4.
“There’s a will and there’s an openness. And you could certainly interpret that ending in different ways,” said Drake. “We’re all going to take a tiny rest here and then scratch at ideas about whether there’s a credible way to get into five. But there’s no guarantee.”
Drake noted, “Keanu and Chad, rightly so, are very protective about never screwing with the audience. So we certainly have our work cut out for us … Keanu is so beloved and that character is so beloved; that’s not lost on him.”
Keanu Reeves is aware that the $73.8 million domestic opening of John Wick 4 is the second-best of his live-action career, coming after The Matrix Reloaded, which earned $91.8 million domestically back in 2003. Reeves also had a voice role in Pixar’s Toy Story 4, which earned $121 million domestically during its first weekend in 2019.
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Expanding The John Wick Universe and Upcoming John Wick Spinoff Details
Keanu Reeves will reprise his role as the iconic assassin in the first spinoff of the John Wick franchise, titled Ballerina, but not in a lead role. The movie stars Ana de Armas as another determined assassin, along with Ian McShane, Anjelica Huston, and the late Lance Reddick. Directed by Len Wiseman, the film is set to hit theaters next year and takes place between the events of John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum and John Wick: Chapter 4.
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Lionsgate’s Joe Drake revealed that Keanu Reeves will have a strategic role in the upcoming Ballerina spinoff and is also being considered for other potential roles in the franchise. Despite Reeves and director Chad Stahelski previously stating that John Wick’s story had ended, the ambiguous ending of Chapter 4 leaves room for a possible comeback should the filmmakers decide to explore a faked-death storyline.
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A prequel set before Wick retired to settle down with his wife is another possibility if Reeves decides to reprise his role, although this would require him to play a much younger version of the character. One audience member at SXSW noted to Reeves that he doesn’t seem to age, to which Reeves, who is 58, replied wearily, “Yeah, man, I age. It’s happening, man.”
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Stahelski and Reeves believed this was the end, despite Lionsgate’s hesitation. Stahelski didn’t completely rule out a fifth movie and even imagined potential ideas with Reeves over drinks in Tokyo. The possibility of a fifth is not unusual in a world where many actors come out of retirement. Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore notes that it’s unwise to count John Wick out, given the success and global fanbase.
John Wick: Chapter 4 is currently in cinemas.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter