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John Wick 4 Will Be The Longest In The Series, But The Director Has A Good Reason For It

Keanu Reeves in the middle of a fight in John Wick: Chapter 4
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Keanu Reeves stepped back into Neo’s shoes late last year for The Matrix Resurrections, but in recent years, the actor has primarily kept his foothold in the action movies realm through the John Wick film series. So far Reeves has appeared three times as the title assassin, and John Wick: Chapter 4 is set to arrive in early 2023. Chapter 4 is set to be the longest-running John Wick movie yet, but director Chad Stahelski has a good reason for the extended runtime.

Earlier this week, Chad Stahelski said that he and his team are in the “final stretch for picture lock” on John Wick: Chapter 4, meaning once that’s done, all that’s left to do is add in the VFX and music. The filmmaker also noted that Chapter 4 will be longer than the previous John Wick movies, though not by a lot, and during a chat with Variety at the red carpet for the premiere of the Netflix movie Day Shift (which he produced), Stahelski explained why those extra minutes are necessary:

I love mythology. I love a good myth. I don’t really believe — at least for the ‘John Wick’ movies — in a three-act structure. I believe in storytelling and leaving it. You know, we’ve always seen John Wick as Odysseus. So we take the time we need to tell the story. As long as we don’t fall asleep watching it, we keep it going. But I guess there is a bathroom limit.

It boils down to Chad Stahelski simply wanting to take whatever amount of time is needed to properly depict another adventure featuring John Wick as a modern day Odysseus. It also sounds like John Wick: Chapter 4 will delve deeper into the franchise’s own mythology. While 2014’s John Wick was originally envisioned as a one-and-done action offering, its positive critical reception and impressive box office performance led to Lionsgate greenlighting a sequel. As such, the seeds of world-building planted in that first movie have blossomed into exploration of elements like the High Table and more rules for the Continental hotel chain catering to assassins.

Although specific plot details for the upcoming 2023 movie remain closely guarded, the first John Wick: Chapter 4 trailer dropped last month during San Diego Comic-Con. There was plenty of action shown off in the preview, as well as our first look at new characters played by Bill Skarsgård, Shamier Anderson, Clancy Brown and Hiroyuki Sand, among others. The fourth installment filmed from June 28, 2021 to October 27 in places like Japan, New York, Berlin and Paris.

John Wick: Chapter 4 is set to come out on March 24, 2023, and John Wick: Chapter 5 is on the way, with Chad Stahelski saying in a separate interview that “it is the studio's [full] intention to continue the franchise.” Speaking of which, this fictional world will also expand through the Ana de Armes-led Ballerina spinoff and the Continental event series that will air on Starz.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.