Update: John Wick 3 starts filming in Montreal in April 2018.
John Wick: Chapter 2 director Chad Stahelski says the third chapter in the series may start filming by the end of the year. Starring Keanu Reeves in the titular role, the bloody, brutal and outrageously entertaining R-rated John Wick films have without question catapulted the revenge thriller genre to a whole new level.
John Wick, of course, kicked it all off in 2014 with a solid $88.7 million global take ($43 million domestically) against a relatively low $20 million budget. Seeing potential in the series, Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment wisely took a chance with John Wick: Chapter 2 - and following its release in February, the film ended up doubling the first John Wick's take at the global box office with $166.8 million ($92 million domestically).
With Chapter 2 leaving a wide-open ending, it seemed that greenlighting John Wick 3 was all but a formality - and now Stahelski has some details. In an interview with Collider about the pending release of Chapter 2 on DVD/Blu-ray, Stalhelski, implied the third film is officially a go, and laid out a potential production timeline:
"We’re currently in the middle of writing it right now. It’s more of a how fast can we get our shit together. But I would assume that if not by the end of this year, the beginning of next year.”
The interesting thing about the John Wick films is that their successes have bred high demand for its directors. David Leitch, who co-directed the first John Wick with Stahelski, moved on not only the helm of this summer's Atomic Blonde, but also grabbed the director's reins on the upcoming Deadpool 2. Stahelski, meanwhile, has signed on to direct the Highlander movie reboot, leaving the question of who's directing John Wick 3 hanging in the air. For the time being, he Stahelski says he's "super involved" with the third John Wick, and he makes it sound like he wants to keep it that way:
“Currently I’m acting as prep director. Hopefully everything will work out time wise. Of course — I would love to…”
No matter who is at the helm, Stahelski tells Collider that the goal of the third film is not to "go bigger," but to show "more of the intricacies of the world":
"I feel like there are all these different subtleties that I skipped over in Number Two, that I’d like to go back to on [chapter three] and show you the inner workings of different parts of New York. So rather than massive set pieces, I’d like to show you cooler and more intricate ones… I think it would be a mistake budget wise and creatively to just go big and blow up a freeway. That’s not our gig. That’s a comic book or a Bond gig. We want to show you cool and intricate details. What are those little details in everyday life? Hopefully – we make people look at garbage collectors and cleaner vans and homeless people a little differently now.”
Whatever the case may be, the key is that Reeves, whose enjoyed a career resurgence with the John Wick films, is as committed to John Wick 3 as he was the first two films. With seemingly no character to rely on to start John Wick's third chapter, fans can only hope that Laurence Fishburne's brilliant but far-too-small of a supporting role in Chapter 2 is greatly expanded in John Wick 3. Fishburne's Bowery King is far too engaging to be left as a supporting player.
John Wick: Chapter 2 is now available in Digital HD. It become available in 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray starting June 13.