John Wick 4 will send John Wick into space says the character's creator Derek Kolstad – jokingly of course. Released in 2014, the original John Wick introduced Keanu Reeves as the titular reluctant but very deadly assassin, a character that would go on to become a signature one for the actor. Following the cult success of the first film, John Wick: Chapter 2 arrived in 2017 and proved to be a legitimate hit with $171 million at the global box office.
After Chapter 2 turned John Wick into a bona fide franchise, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum arrived in 2019 to further build out the films’ universe while delving deeper into Wick's mysterious origins. Featuring more of the series’ intricately choreographed fight scenes and stunts, as well as Reeves’ inimitably cool presence in the lead, Chapter 3 was another big hit with $321 million in worldwide grosses. Unsurprisingly, John Wick: Chapter 4 has already been announced, with Reeves returning to continue the story of Wick. The next movie will pick up after Chapter 3 raised the stakes dramatically on the entire John Wick universe by suggesting that Wick is not only seemingly supernatural, but may actually be an indestructible superhero.
After the somewhat strange events that wrapped up John Wick 3, it’s hard to actually guess where the series is headed in Chapter 4. But creator Kolstad may have given fans a hint when, answering a question in a Twitter takeover with DiscussingFilm, he suggested Wick could be on his way to the final frontier. “Space. I mean, come on. It is the fourth one after all,” Kolstad said in response to a fan query about where the Wick series can go from here.
The “going to space” trope is of course a familiar one from the world of sequels, where the need to keep milking properties even after creative bankruptcy sets in often inspires producers to go to desperate lengths like, for instance, sending characters into gimmicky and inappropriate environments. Probably the most infamous example of going to space actually comes from the James Bond series, where the 1979 film Moonraker took Bond into earth orbit for a cheesy laser shootout clearly inspired by Star Wars. Other infamous examples of going to space come from the horror world, where both the Friday the 13th and Hellraiser franchises resorted to the move in hopes of shaking up tired formuals. Indeed, the “going to space” trope is so old that it was already being parodied way back in 1982 with Airplane II: The Sequel, which traded in an airliner for a moon shuttle (but featured the same jokes and most of the same cast as the original).
Of course, Kolstad was only joking himself about sending John Wick to space in John Wick 4. Granted, Chapter 3 did become quite strange and outlandish in its closing moments, setting up the possibility that the series could go off in a truly bizarre direction in the fourth film. But going into space would be a little too bizarre, even for a series that trades in over-the-top action. So look for John Wick to remain earthbound, at least for now.
- John Wick: Chapter 4 (2021) release date: May 21, 2021