John Wick: Chapter 4 closed a few chapters for the franchise, but it’s opened up plenty of new ones – where will the franchise go from here?
What’s next for Hollywood’s beloved Baba Yaga? The John Wick franchise burst onto the scene back in 2014 with the release of the original film and introduced audiences to the world’s most deadly assassin. While the movie blew viewers away with it’s grotesque choreography and deadly action scenes, nobody could have predicted how popular the franchise would ultimately become. A sequel was produced three years later with a third film following after just another two, and now John Wick: Chapter 4 has retaken Hollywood and reminded everyone just how enthralling Keanu Reeves is as the titular assassin.
Unfortunately (spoilers ahead) the fourth movie brought an end to the tale of Baba Yaga with John Wick’s life finally coming to a close – but does that mean that the franchise will end alongside him? The short answer is absolutely not. Despite John Wick finally meeting his maker, the fourth film has already grossed over $150 million worldwide and the franchise has several plans for the future (that may or may not still include Keanu Reeves). So, with so many plans lined up for a future without John Wick, what exactly is next for the action franchise?
The Continental (TV Series)
While fans had to wait nearly half a decade in-between John Wick: Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 (largely due to the Coven pandemic pushing projects back) they’ll be happy to know that the next material from the John Wick universe will be arriving much sooner than they’d expect. The Continental will be a television mini-series centered around the infamous Continental Hotel chain that acts as the “home-base” for the assassins throughout the John Wick universe, and it’s been reported to be arriving later this year on Peacock.
The show itself, however, won’t be picking up where John Wick: Chapter 4 left off. Instead, the miniseries will be a prequel series starring a young Winston and a young Charon during the 1970s. Reportedly, the show will go into much further detail about the actual workers of The Continental hotel, such as the cleaners and undercover assassins posing as civilians. Not only that, but the show will apparently shed some light on how the invaluable gold coins that the assassins use as currency in the universe are made.’
The Continental may be the John Wick universes’ first attempt at creating a television series, but fans know that the franchise is more than capable of creating a captivating film. So, fans will be ecstatic to learn that even though John Wick died at the end of the fourth chapter, another film entitled Ballerina is already in development. However, this particular movie seems to be the first true spin-off for the franchise as it will be straying away from the expected assassins from The Continental line of work and will instead be focusing on one of their sister organizations.
Viewers will remember from John Wick: Chapter 3 that Anjelica Huston played a character known only as The Director, a woman who trained her protégées to become world-class ballerinas and assassins (a powerful combination). The Ballerina spin-off will be following one of these ballerina-assassins (played by Ana De Armas) as she herself tries to exact revenge due to the loss of her loved ones.
Despite this film straying away from the John Wick storyline, it’s already been confirmed that Ian McShane will reprise his role as Winston for the film. Not only that, but there have been rumors suggesting that Keanu Reeves will be making at least a cameo appearance in the film as Ana De Armas hinted that she and Reeves had to film a few fight scenes together. Fans of the franchise will be happy to hear that the movie has a release date set for either spring or summer of next year, and the combination of the popularity of the franchise and De Armas’ meteoric rise to stardom have already sparked rumors of a potential sequel.
John Wick: Chapter 5 (Movie)
It would be difficult to pull off (due to Wick’s death at the end of Chapter 4) but a fifth full-length John Wick film isn’t technically out of the cards. Prior to pre-production on the fourth movie, director Chad Stahelski revealed in an interview that he had been asked to write and direct a fourth and fifth John Wick film back-to-back. However, Stahelski shot that concept down almost immediately due to his belief that doing so wouldn’t actually make two true films and instead would have resulted in a John Wick: Chapter 4A and 4B.
Now, despite Stahelski refraining from filming back-to-back movies and Wick’s character dying at the end of the fourth, a fifth film still can’t be ruled out. After all, Reeves signed a contract for five projects and has only done four. So, perhaps his contract will be fulfilled with a cameo appearance in the upcoming Ballerina film, or perhaps Reeves and Stahelski wanted to take some time away from the character and allow the universe to grow on it’s own before bringing him back in for one final farewell. Either way, we don’t think fans would ever complain about seeing the Baba Yaga back on screen.
Keeping in mind how Stahelski may want to expand the universe, there have also been rumors that a fifth John Wick movie could be released starring the character Akira who was introduced in Chapter 4. The film may have seen John Wick die, but a post credit scene (spoilers) saw the character Akira getting lined up for her own revenge story against Caine. If the franchise chooses to follow that storyline, they may very well change the name of the title since it probably wouldn’t have much to do with John Wick, but it’s definitely an avenue that the franchise is interested in exploring.
The Bowery King (TV Series or Movie)
The only project on this list that isn’t in the works in some form or fashion – but it should be. The introduction of the Bowery King in John Wick: Chapter 2 was one of the best character reveals in the entire franchise, especially with the casting choice of Laurence Fishburne as the sovereign ruler. Pairing Fishburne and Reeves together as a nod to The Matrix franchise (where the two starred as Neo and Morphius) was not only a great fan-service choice, but the anonymity behind the two characters made their interactions all the more compelling.
So, despite Wick dying at the end of Chapter 4, The Bowery King is still alive and available for future projects and the franchise could easily tap into that well of potential. The character could get his own prequel series that shows how he rose to power, or could be a continuation of the character and show what happens to him after the events of John Wick: Chapter 4. That said, regardless of whether or not The Bowery King gets his own deserved project, it would be criminal not to include the character in some way in any of the franchises’ upcoming projects.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/john-wick-chapter-5-whats-next-for-the-franchise/