Did Winston Really Try To Kill John Wick In Chapter 3? Ian McShane And Lance Reddick Respond

As we’ve seen over the course of three movies, Keanu Reeves’ John Wick has a lot of friends – but at the end of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, one of his most powerful allies seems to betray him. Threatened by Asia Kate Dillon’s The Adjudicator to have The Continental stripped away from him, Ian McShane’s Winston makes the decision to personally try and execute the film’s titular hero. Fortunately, John survives the assassination attempt, his story continuing in John Wick: Chapter 4, but a question is raised: did Winston know that his friend would survive, or was he purely acting out of self-interest?

Curious about this, I brought the query to the source. This past weekend, I had the chance to interview both Ian McShane and Lance Reddick at the John Wick: Chapter 4 Los Angeles press day, and my very first question was about the end of Parabellum. Not really doing much to hide his after-the-fact bias, McShane said,

Well, I'm gonna just say of course he knew he was wearing a bulletproof vest. Winston's an expert marksman and knew that he would survive, bounce off a car, 55 stories down and survive somehow, get taken care of by the Bowery King. There was, wasn't – no way self-interest whatsoever.

Ian McShane, of course, is alluding to the fact that Winton’s attempt at killing John Wick isn’t just about taking a single shot at the legendary assassin’s head. Instead, the manager of the Continental gets off five shots at John, causing him to tumult over the edge of the hotel’s roof. He hits a slanted roof, a fire escape, and an awning before he hits the concrete below… but evidently Winston knew all along that John could live through it.

If you feel a bit skeptical about that idea, you’re not alone. Lance Reddick, who plays Winston’s trusted concierge Charon, didn’t seem to wholly buy this perspective on events:

Lance Reddick: It's the bouncing on the way down and the landing that I had to question about, but...
Ian McShane: Well, we looked over together, man.

If Winston is guilty of actively trying to kill John Wick, Charon’s hands aren’t totally clean. After the big fall, he only has three words for his boss: “Well played, sir.”

During the interview, I pointed at Charon’s acceptance of events in the moment, and Lance Riddick explained that internally the character is shocked by what has transpired, but he also knows that you can’t unscramble an egg. In his words:

When you say accepts, I mean, it's done. There's nothing he can do about it. And he's Winston, you know, I'm his guy. But that moment I'm left with kind of, 'Fuck... really? Shit.'... That's what I was thinking as a character.

As for the fallout of the situation… you’ll just have to wait a few more weeks to find out. Featuring a stellar cast that includes Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne, Rina Sawayama, Donnie Yen, Shamier Anderson, Bill Skarsgård, and Scott Adkins, John Wick: Chapter 4 will be heading to theaters on June 24. The nearly three-hour long epic has been earning positive reactions from early screenings, so feel free to start getting hyped now.

To learn about all of the films heading to theaters and streaming in the weeks and months ahead, head over to our 2023 Movie Release Calendar.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.