John Wick, released back in the fall of 2014, was an unlikely hit that inspired something of a cult following. Directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, the film starred Keanu Reeves as the title character, a widowed retired hitman who went on a revenge-minded rampage following the murder of his beloved little dog. The first film represented a chance for Reeves, now in his 50s and years after the Matrix films, to return to action-hero mode, in a story with lots of wit and humor.
The film, which grossed $43 million at the domestic box office and around the same amount overseas, has a sequel, John Wick: Chapter Two, set for release in February of 2017, with the first trailer having now debuted online. And now, it appears a third film has already entered development as well.
Speaking at the 2016 New York Comic-Con, John Wick co-director, Chad Stahelski informed Collider that planning on a third John Wick is already underway. The second John Wick film (in addition to Reeves) stars Common, Ruby Rose, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Bridget Moynihan and Reeves’ Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne. Stahelski is serving as the sole director of John Wick: Chapter Two.
Here's the exact quote that Stahelski gave Collider with regard to John Wick 3:
“The studio has asked us to put our heads together and see if we can come up with something. Winston’s [McShane] is a big part of the next one, so is Lance Reddick. We’ve got some ideas.”
Does the John Wick franchise have enough to it to fill three movies, let alone two? There’s no reason to think there isn’t; the formula of Keanu Reeves kicking bad guys’ butts in revenge to a wrong done for him is probably a well that can returned to numerous times. Assuming another dog isn’t killed in the process, if anything the sequels will probably be a test of how much of the original film’s success had to do with the dog-avenging angle.
Considering how well people responded to the first John Wick, it's to be expected that fans of the first movie will give the sequel(s) a chance. Then again, it’s not like fans haven’t been disappointed before by sequels that star Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne.
John Wick: Chapter Two opens in U.S. theaters on February 10, 2017. We'll bring you more information on John Wick 3 as it becomes available.