With the highly anticipated release of John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum comes a return to the intriguing world of hired assassins that is the hallmark of the John Wick franchise. Now a trilogy of films, the franchise has always been characterized by stunning cinematography and innovative action sequences, as well as intricate world building populated by memorable people.
From Winston, the unflappable manager of the luxury Continental hotel for assassins, to Aurelio, the chop shop mechanic who fixed John Wick's prized car, these are characters who add depth and complexity to John Wick's world. The third film introduced new faces, like the stone-faced Adjudicator of the High Table, and old comrades of John Wick's, like the oath-keeping Sofia. With the electric events of Parabellum leaving the franchise open for a fourth chapter, who could return? Here are six characters we'd love to see come back, and four we'd rather not. Watch out for series spoilers if you aren't up to speed!
10 WANT TO RETURN: SOFIA
Little is known of John Wick's past, except that he was once one of the most ruthless assassins who ever lived until his 'retirement.' But we learn in John Wick 3 that he once helped a fellow assassin named Sofia (Halle Berry), for which she put her bloodied thumbprint on a “marker” (enabling him to call upon her for a future favor).
Wick finds her in Morocco, now the manager of the Moroccan Continental. We see she is every bit the elite killer he is during a fight scene in an open-air courtyard. Unlike Wick, she utilizes her furry friends as attack dogs, to much success. We wouldn't be opposed to them teaming up again!
9 DON'T WANT TO RETURN: ARES
Touted as a methodical killer in Santino D'Antonio’s employ, Ares (Ruby Rose) fought John Wick on several occasions in John Wick Chapter 2. A deaf assassin, she seemingly relied on her other senses to track him down and engage him, albeit poorly. Though she knew her way around a gun, it wasn't believable that someone of her diminutive stature could stand up to the unstoppable force that is John Wick.
After their fight in what equated to a House of Mirrors, John Wick left her wounded but technically not dead. His parting words were “be seeing you”, a phrase to signal that he won't be killing you. She responds “be seeing you too”, but we hope not.
8 WANT TO RETURN: THE BOWERY KING
Laurence Fishburne brings gravitas and stature to every role he plays, including being the leader of the homeless riff-raff in the Bowery district of lower Manhattan. As the Bowery King, he helped John once by evading assassins that would kill him, in exchange for the unique payment of their shared underworld.
In John Wick 3, the High Table doesn't take too kindly to the Bowery King helping John, and they send an Adjudicator to give him “seven cuts”. But it takes more than that to take down the Bowery King, who we hope teams up with John and Winston in the fourth film to take on the High Table.
7 DON'T WANT TO RETURN: THE ADJUDICATOR
When we first meet the Adjudicator, she's presented as incredibly polished and professional, with a condescending demeanor befitting her status as an emissary for the High Table. Then she opens her mouth, and from there it's nothing but an endless barrage of patronizing dialogue, delivered in a vocal fry that seems at odds with the no-nonsense person she purports to be.
No doubt she'll have to be in a fourth film somewhere, given that John Wick, Winston, and the Bowery King all have a personal vendetta against her. However, she already implied that if John Wick survived, she'd be punished by the High Table, so perhaps that will occur early on in the fourth installment, preferably painfully.
6 WANT TO RETURN: WINSTON
As the congenial and sophisticated manager of the Continental, Ian McShane has made a role that could have been a two-dimensional character incredibly memorable. On the outside, he's unflappably polite and dresses from head to toe like the respectable English gentleman that he is. Inside, he's a shrewd businessman with a penchant for chess who plays a long game and never makes a misplay.
Winston as a character has functioned as a narrative device, providing the audience necessary information about John Wick's world through exposition, but he's also been a good friend to John. After the third film, he too has a personal vendetta against the High Table.
5 DON'T WANT TO RETURN: BERADDA
As Sofia's old boss and the head of the mint where all the currency exchanged between the assassins in the underworld is made, Beradda is a thug in a nice suit. Fueled by his love of power and his belief that money is no more than a means to procure social commerce and favor, he finds pleasure in holding John and Sofia's lives in his hands.
Unfortunately for him, the exchange rate for services rendered and getting John an audience with the Elder is one of Sofia's dogs. She refuses to part with her companion and he shoots it, leading her to lose control and return the payment in lead. Not only is he probably dead, but he doesn't deserve any more screen time for what he did to be doggo.
4 WANT TO RETURN: CHARON
In the first John Wick film, Charon was introduced simply as the concierge of the Continental. Courteous, dignified, and unwaveringly loyal to his employer, Winston, Charon made sure every hired assassin in the luxury hotel had their needs met and didn't break any rules. He was always a great admirer of John Wick's, and during the second film, he was the only person John trusted with his new furry companion.
In the third film, Charon steps out from behind the desk. He takes John to the hotel's personal arsenal, and they select enough firepower to take on the High Table's mercenaries. It was great to see Charon prove that, at one time, he may have been every bit the badass John was before his new position. We hope to see more of his backstory unfold as he continues to help John and Winston take on the High Table.
3 WANT TO RETURN: AURELIO
Aurelio was one of the first friends that John Wick turned to for help when his car was stolen by petty mobster Iosef and his gang. Head mechanic at a chop shop, Aurelio's loyalty for John Wick runs so deep he punched a mob boss's son in the face for stealing his car. Aurelio is to John Wick as Charon is to Winston, and surely his loyalty is to his friend, High Table be damned.
Aurelio was suspiciously absent from John Wick 3, but he may not meddle in the affairs of the hired assassins. Still, no doubt John and co will be in need of some horsepower in John Wick 4, so Aurelio may light up the screen again.
2 DON'T WANT TO RETURN: ZERO
Having Mark Dacascos as the main antagonist of John Wick was a wise choice, given his martial arts background and penchant for serious stare downs. A methodical killer with ninja reflexes, it was entertaining to see how John Wick fared against a flush of katanas in his face.
The meta-humor of Zero also being a big fan of John Wick made for some light-hearted moments amidst the cuts and thrusts. At the conclusion of the film, Zero is still alive but has a sword stuck through him like a human kabob. Provided he didn't pull it out, help might have reached him, but it's more than likely that he bled out.
1 WANT TO RETURN: THE DIRECTOR
As the Director, Anjelica Huston oozes Old World charm and dignity, making commands with a wave of her jangling bracelets to the men and women that train in ballet or Greco Roman wrestling at her theater. She adopted a young John Wick into her tribe once, an orphaned boy who went by “Jardani Jovonovich” and pledged fealty to her in repayment for molding him into an elite assassin.
While it's heavily implied she trains assassins at her theater via the graceful discipline of the arts, so much isn't known about her. Are all assassins trained there? Did she know John's real parents? Did she give him the name or is he a Belarusian orphan? We hope she comes back just to add flavor and dimension to the world.