John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum star Keanu Reeves reveals some details about the addition of Halle Berry's character Sophia and explains why she comes to John's aid. Despite a modest budget and relatively little promotion, 2014's John Wick rapidly gained a strong following, with many hailing the movie as a modern action classic. The 2017 sequel only added to that reputation and transformed the story of Reeves' retired assassin into a bona fide cinematic franchise, expanding on Wick's fictional world and introducing a host of fascinating new characters.
John Wick: Chapter 3 is scheduled for release later this month and looks set to continue the franchise's upwards trajectory. Picking up where the previous movie left off, John Wick: Chapter 3 sees the titular one-man army on the run after breaking the code of his profession and being declared "excommunicado" by the Continental Hotel. With a huge bounty on his head, virtually no one can offer John sanctuary, not even his faithful pet dog. John Wick 3 introduces a number of new faces, perhaps the most notable of which is Berry's Sophia. An assassin in her own right, Sophia has been seen in trailers going against her colleagues and offering John a much-needed helping hand.
Speaking with Screen Rant, Reeves has now revealed some details regarding Berry's character, including why she comes to John's aid and what it was like to work with the X-Men and Catwoman actress. When asked what Sophia brings to the franchise, Reeves said:
Well, the character, we have a past, and I go to Halle Berry's character, Sophia, for some help. And I have her marker. So, she has some obligations that she might not want to fulfill. Halle is a wonderful artist and there's such depth and for the action there was such commitment and she's so great at the drama, at characterization and honesty and she's great with the action.
In the John Wick universe, a marker is a very important plot device whereby an assassin is compelled by the community's code to help the person in possession of their personal marker medallion, regardless of circumstances or the amount of time passed. For example, John Wick: Chapter 2 revealed that John had given his own marker to a criminal called Santino in exchange for Santino's help in finding a quiet retirement. The sequel began with Santino returning the marker to John, thus cashing in the favor owed. Refusal to adhere to this agreement is considered as severe a crime as the one John committed to make himself the assassin trade's most wanted man.
Given John's situation heading into John Wick: Chapter 3, it's certainly surprising that anyone would want to fight by his side, so the explanation that John holds Sophia's marker is certainly satisfactory in bridging that narrative gap. As Reeves suggests, it also creates an interesting dynamic whereby Sophia isn't helping John due to any sense of justice or loyalty but because she is obliged to, and this could make for some interesting and tense exchanges between the pair.
It's perhaps fair to say that Berry's cinematic output has often been the subject of critical derision, with the likes of Gothika, Catwoman and Movie 43 dogging her filmography. Berry's role in Cloud Atlas was even tainted with racial controversy. However, a small but fun role in Kingsman: The Golden Circle boosted Berry's stock somewhat and if the positive early reactions are any indication, John Wick 3 - Parabellum will capitalize on that and re-energize the actress' career while also bringing new blood to the franchise.
- John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) release date: May 17, 2019