Warning: SPOILERS for John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum are in play. If you haven’t seen the film yet, consider this message your head start. Bookmark this story, and come back once you’ve closed the contract.
The John Wick series is known for its spectacular stunt work, its neo-noir storytelling sensibilities and its usage of star Keanu Reeves as the ultimate angel of death. But what the series, now entering its third time at the box office with this weekend’s John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, hasn’t been known for is its happy endings.
If anything, the ending for the first John Wick movie represents the closest thing to an upbeat curtain call, with John busting his current pet companion out of the pound. But in terms of the last two chapters, the endings have made things more complicated for John and his navigation of the underworld ruled by The High Table. With such stakes, could there ever be hope for a happy ending in John’s eventual future?
That was one of the questions that CinemaBlend got to ask both Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski during the press day for John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, and both of their answers pointed towards a similar direction. Starting with Stahelski’s answer to the question of whether or not the John Wick series is working towards a finite end feels like a good launching point, as he had the following point blank response to that question:
Honestly, we kind of took the whole idea of the John Wick universe from Greek mythology, and a more fable-istic kind of telling. I don’t think John will ever really have a happy ending.
Frankly, not only has the mythological influence on John Wick’s franchise been pretty solid, it’s set the table for that very sort of ending with each passing installment. Were the series to have been a one-and-done quest for revenge, the ending of that first film could have served as the emotionally upbeat, but still dour coda to John’s bloodlust.
That being said, how many Greek myths do you know of that have a happy ending? Much like any hero worth their legend, John Wick’s enduring reputation still makes him a target to some, a valuable asset to others and a huge liability to the likes of the mythical High Table that rule the world he operates in.
So it’s obviously going to be very hard to get John Wick out of the life he impossibly escaped from previously, and no one understands that better than the man himself, Keanu Reeves. He said as much during his turn to answer the question of where John’s fate may take him, even after John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum put him through the ringer, as he provided the following thoughts:
A happy ending? You know, I’ve never seen that one. And whenever I think about it, it doesn’t go… I mean, it either goes to dying or being alone. But I guess that happens to everybody.
Hearing Keanu Reeves himself say that he can’t really think of an ending for John Wick that doesn’t conclude in death or isolation may sound like a bummer on the outset. Obviously death isn’t the most ideal circumstance for John, as his vengeance has been had for some time now, and the only real threat to him is an escalating set of circumstances that make it harder for him to make it through the day.
But if you’ve read the actor’s previous thoughts on just what should happen with his action powerhouse of a character and really look into what he’s saying, there’s a chance for happiness yet. In another recent interview, Keanu Reeves mentioned that his ideal ending for John Wick’s story would, in fact, see him alive and victorious as he can still live in the memory of his beloved wife, Helen.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that he has to be surrounded by friends in the end, as John’s survival will more than likely take out as many allies as it will enemies. Ultimately, the simplest and happiest ending for John might be to just walk away from the wreckage and settle down to a more normal life away from it all.
You can watch Keanu Reeves and his John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum director Chad Stahelski discuss their individual answers, in the video from our interviews below:
The end point of the John Wick universe isn’t written yet, and if this weekend’s release of the third chapter has anything to say about it, that ending won’t be happening until a couple installments have come and gone. We’ll see where things go from here, but for now, you can enjoy John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum at a local theater near you.