Why John Wick’s Director And Keanu Reeves Aren’t Interested In Filming Sequels Back To Back

Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

John Wick fans needn’t worry about Keanu Reeves’ latest action franchise going away anytime soon. John Wick: Chapter 4 received the green light shortly after John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum was released last year, and earlier this month, it was announced that not only is John Wick: Chapter 5 in development too, but both upcoming movies will be shot back-to-back.

However, both Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski aren’t particularly enthused about having to work on two more John Wick movies so closely to one another… at least, not yet. Both men want to be sure that John Wick: Chapter 4 is ironed out before they do any start delving deeply into John Wick: Chapter 5. As Stahleksi explained:

The way Keanu and I approach it with our writing team is, 'Look, we have ideas, but it's not like I'm working with two sets of writers on two movies. We're going to write a really good number four. If a really good number four feels solid to Keanu and I, we'll make that one. That doesn't mean we won't plan on a five or start writing five, but we want to make sure we have a solid story.

Regarding why Lionsgate is deciding to shoot John Wick: Chapter 4 and John Wick: Chapter 5 back-to-back, Chad Stahelski speculated it’s because the studio thinks he and Reeves are “getting on” in their years, so it wants to ensure the next movies can come out sooner rather than later. While Stahelski is “psyched” to have a studio continuing to support his John Wick-related endeavors, that doesn’t mean he’s going to do a rush job on the fifth movie.

Continuing in his interview with Comicbook.com, Chad Stahelski stated how right now, he and writer Derek Kolstad are currently focused on making John Wick: Chapter 4 the best it can be, rather than splitting their attention between Chapter 4 and Chapter 5. In the filmmaker’s words:

The worst thing you can do is 'I got five ideas. I'm going to put two in number four and put three in number five,' I don't want to try and stretch into two movies. I want to have solid ideas. So we're attacking number four with everything we have. If there's anything left on the table, we'll fully attack number five.

Lionsgate’s decision to shoot John Wick: Chapter 4 and John Wick: Chapter 5 back-to-back echoes what Paramount Pictures is doing with the next two Mission: Impossible movies. As such, it’s entirely possible that like with Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8, the next John Wick entries could come out within a year of one another. But for now, Chad Stahelski is taking this one movie at a time, and once he, Keanu Reeves and Derek Kolstad are comfortable with how the events of Chapter 4 unfold, then they’ll figure out what to do for Chapter 5.

Along with the main John Wick film series still going strong, the franchise is also taking steps to expand. On the big screen, a spinoff titled Ballerina is in development, which has Len Wiseman attached to direct and will follow a young woman exacting revenge on the assassins who killed her family. Then in the small screen realm, Starz has The Continental coming up, a prequel TV series centered on the hotel chain where criminals can find safe haven in this world.

John Wick: Chapter 4 is slotted for May 27, 2022, while John Wick: Chapter 5 doesn’t have a release date yet. We here at CinemaBlend will keep you apprised of more updates concerning the John Wick franchise, but for now, look through our 2020 release schedule to learn what movies are supposed to come out later this year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.