Wednesday, May 22, 2024

John Wick 5 Is in Early Development at Lionsgate, AAA Video Game Also in the Works

John Wick: Chapter 4 ended its theatrical run recently, but that hasn’t stopped production studio Lionsgate from considering a sequel. During its Q4 2023 earnings call, Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake confirmed that John Wick 5 is in early development, alongside teasing a bunch of other projects in the billion-dollar hitman franchise. Longtime director Chad Stahelski previously stated that he was open to working on a fifth movie and claiming that the new villain Marquis de Gramont (Bill Skarsgård) was being brought in to reset the John Wick calendar.

“We’re now moving across that franchise, not just in the AAA video game space, but looking at what the regular cadence of spin-offs, television really growing that universe so that there is a steady cadence of a franchise that there’s a clear appetite by the audience,” Drake said during the call (via Collider). The Ana de Armas-led Ballerina is confirmed to be the first spin-off in the John Wick franchise, centring on the ballerina-assassin Rooney who hunts down her family’s killers. It is slated to release June 7, 2024, and serves as the continuation arc of the on-stage ballerina shown in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. However, Rooney was portrayed by professional ballet dancer Unity Phelan in it and now, de Armas will replace her.

Then of course, there’s The Continental miniseries, serving as an origin story of how Winston Scott (Colin Woodell) came upon his position of the proprietor of the titular New York-set hotel — a safe haven for highly-skilled legal assassins. It is slated to drop sometime in September, exclusively on Peacock. “We’re in development on three others, including John Wick 5 and including television series,” Drake continues. “And so, we’re building out the world and when that fifth movie comes, it will be organic — will be organically grown out of how we’re starting to tell those stories. But you can rely on a regular cadence of John Wick.”

Spoilers ahead – those who’ve seen John Wick: Chapter 4 will know that Keanu Reeves’ titular hitman’s arc seemingly came to a close with him bleeding out from a gunshot wound, followed by a scene of the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) and Winston Scott (Ian McShane) visiting his grave. It’s unclear if Lionsgate intends to bring on a new John Wick to the franchise or whether Reeves will simply be revived — similar to the many times Batman has faked his death. The continuation also opens room for oversaturation of the franchise, as we’ve more commonly seen with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, essentially tarnishing the goodwill the series has earned in the past.

Lionsgate also wants to delve into the gaming potential of John Wick, by considering a AAA title. Details are sparse at the moment, but the concept of a video game was first floated in late-2022, with Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer noting that they’ve been fielding proposals from several developers. However, this won’t be the first John Wick game to exist; a strategy-style video game called John Wick Hex in 2020 brought the Baba Yaga closer to Winston and the concierge Charon, long before the film’s events.

John Wick: Chapter 4 is now available to purchase on VOD via YouTube Movies, Google Play, and Apple TV.

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