'John Wick 4': Is the Keanu Reeves action franchise finally faltering after delivering hit after hit?
Keanu Reeves's 'John Wick' franchise is one of the most successful action movie series of the last decade. However, it looks like the franchise's stellar run from one hit to the next may finally slow down.
Shortly after the release of 'John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum', Lionsgate announced that a fourth 'John Wick' movie would arrive in 2021. Now director Chad Stahelski has revealed that not only are they behind on the script, but he's really not sure how to get 'John Wick 4' to beat the runaway success of 'Parabellum'.
“I think Dave and I were both good at what we did as stuntmen and as choreographers. So, we don’t want to lose that," Stahelski told Collider. "I want to be cool with the action. I want to be a better director, but that doesn’t mean I want to do less action or have less to do with the action. I guess the third one just felt like I needed a place to go after number two, and I had these ideas. It kind of became that wacky action movie."
He adds, "There’s been a couple days where I’ve decided to do number four and I’ve woken up in a cold sweat going, ‘Horses! How do I beat horses?!’ Like, I have no f***in’ idea, to tell you the truth. […] I think I have a lot of really cool ideas for the next one that I think are different and shocking and fun and unique. How to do them, I have no f***in’ idea right now. I’m still figuring it out.”
We are hoping this is just common self-doubt and not an indictment of the movie itself because 'John Wick' is one of the few action movie franchises in recent history that has consistently delivered both in terms of action and plot. Stahelski also revealed that what they have for the movie right now isn't so much a script as a first draft, which will take a lot more work before the cameras can roll.
“We have, I wouldn’t call it a first draft but I’d call it a ‘scriptment’: A written-out story, part outline, part script, part thing," he explained. "We know where we want to go, we know the thematics. We call it 'the toy box.' It’s like a 100-and-something page document, but some of it’s written. It’s a good place to start. Then we start thinning it out, and then we work with the writers to get the right scenes, and then we start working with Keanu’s dialogue. It’s a very outward-in process for us. Then, we’ll do the inward-outward process which is about character."
The fourth 'John Wick' movie was previously scheduled for a May 21, 2021 release date but that will almost definitely be delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the scripting delays, and the fact that Keanu Reeves also has to finish 'Matrix 4' before starting work on this project.