Actor Keanu Reeves suggests that he’s ready for more John Wick movies if there’s a demand from fans. Created by Derek Kolstad, the action franchise kicked off in 2014, and has extended into video games and television. In a recent interview, Keeves discussed his career and the upcoming film John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum.
In 2014, Summit Entertainment released John Wick, a neo-noir action thriller directed by Chad Stahelski. Reeves portrays the title character, a former hitman trying to cope with his wife’s recent death. After a home robbery - in which a gangster kills his dog - Wick is thrust back into the underworld and chooses vengeance over love. Produced for approximately $20 to $30 million, John Wick earned over $88 million at the box office, and marked the next phase of Reeves' career. For the 2017 sequel John Wick: Chapter 2, the production budget increased to $40 million, with the box office take nearly doubling at just over $171 million. By June 2017, a third franchise film was announced, with Halle Berry joining the cast as an assassin named Sofia. In January 2018, Starz ordered a television spinoff named The Continental, which will be based in the John Wick universe. Reeves will co-produce the spinoff, and Stahelski will direct the pilot episode.
In a recent GQ profile of Reeves, the actor discussed his movie career as a whole, along with John Wick’s cultural impact. Now 54-years-old, Reeves acknowledges that physical limitations must be considered moving forward, but he’s willing to give it a shot: “As far as my legs can take me… As far as the audience wants to go.” But even if stunts and traditional action sequences become problematic for Reeves, the psychological aspect of the John Wick character remains intriguing: “He's got this beautiful, tragic conundrum—these two selves… John wants to be free. But the only way he knows how is through John Wick. And John Wick keeps fuc*ing killing people and breaking rules. We're really watching a person fight for their life and their soul.”
In the mid-1980s, Reeves became a recognizable Hollywood figure, shortly after fellow action icon Tom Cruise established himself as a young industry star. Decades later, Reeves is often correlated with his character Neo from The Matrix trilogy, while Cruise continues to reprise his role as Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible franchise. But whereas Cruise's 2018 franchise installment Mission: Impossible – Fallout was produced for $178 million, Reeves’ has taken a more practical approach with his recent role selections, sometimes out of necessity. Moving forward, both Reeves and Cruise will turn back the clock, as the former will star in the 2020 film Bill & Ted Face the Music - an extension of the Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure franchise - while the latter will star in the Top Gun sequel, Top Gun: Maverick.
For Reeves, the John Wick franchise allows him to display his star appeal on multiple levels. There’s the action scenes, along with the dramatic acting itself, but there’s also the undeniable star power that Reeves still exudes. Based on the photo shoot that accompanies GQ’s Reeves profile, along with fan reactions on social media, it’s clear that John Wick’s leading man is still one of Hollywood’s most charismatic and popular stars.
- John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) release date: May 17, 2019