The release date for John Wick 3 has officially been set. The news comes several months after John Wick: Chapter 2 hit theaters earlier this February, to similar critical acclaim and box office success as its 2014 predecessor. Indeed, the Wick films - which follow Keanu Reeves' titular ex-hitman through various revenge missions - have quickly solidified their status as one of the more well-regarded action franchises happening in the entertainment industry right now. And not only did the films solidify Keanu Reeves' career comeback once and for all, but have more or less raised the standard once again in regard to what audiences can and should expect from their action films, no matter how mainstream they are.
In addition to their stylish action sequences and the careful work done to make Reeves' central hitman as compelling as possible, the John Wick films have received large amounts of critical acclaim for their unique and intelligent world-building. After introducing audiences to the franchise's slick society of underground assassins, John Wick: Chapter 2 took viewers even further into the mythology and powerful figures controlling most of the society's rules and movements.
This afternoon, Lionsgate (via Variety) officially set a theatrical release date for the currently untitled John Wick 3. With no other production or creative details to accompany the announcement, the studio has slated John Wick 3 to hit theaters on May 17, 2019. It is, currently, the only film with that release date, though, as more studios finish filling out their schedules for the next couple of years, it's likely John Wick 3's box office competition will be revealed the closer to the release date we get. Production on John Wick 3 is currently expected to begin sometime near the end of this year, or at the latest, early next year.
The last that fans had heard, John Wick: Chapter 2 director Chad Stahelski and franchise screenwriter, Derek Kolstad, were both in the midst of writing the script and story for the third installment, though it's possible the two have completed the script in the months since then. It is important to note that while he's expected to be returning, Stahelski has yet to be officially confirmed as the director of John Wick 3.
But should he indeed be directing the new installment, then this release date makes sense within the filming time table for John Wick 3, with a summer 2019 release giving Stahelski and co. more than enough time to shoot and complete post-production on John Wick. While no official story details have been revealed about the film up until this point, it will apparently take some time to explore John Wick's mysterious origins. And following his ex-communication from the hitman society at the end of John Wick: Chapter 2, it'll be interesting to see how John Wick 3 fills in more blanks about the character's past and its fascinating hitman world, without simultaneously sacrificing the enticing mystery that has made the last two films so much fun to watch in the first place.