It’s a question that’s been on everyone’s lips since John Wick first Gun Fu’d his way onto cinema screens in the first instalment of the trilogy back in 2014. Who would win in a fight between John Wick and Keanu Reeves’ other kickass character, The Matrix’s Neo?
It’s one that Fandom’s John Wick community are still desperate to know the answer to – and even more urgently with the news that Matrix visionaries the Wachowskis may (or may not, depending on what you believe) be making The Matrix 4. So, along with some more of your burning questions, we put the poser to franchise director Chad Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves ahead of the release of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.
“I don’t think they’d fight,” says Reeves.
Stahelski concurs: “I think there’s a connection there; I don’t know if they’d fight. I think they’d have a bond and they’d team up. They’d kick the s— out of Agent Smith though, wouldn’t they?”
We’re taking that as definitive proof that Wick and Neo would be scared of one another.
John Wick: Full Baba Yaga
Speaking of kicking the s— out of people, Wick ups the ante in Chapter 3 – which picks up straight after Chapter 2 leaves off – finding new, inventive ways to incapacitate his opponents that even outdo his infamous pencil kill. We won’t spoil anything here, and neither will Reeves or Stahelski, who refuse even to reveal Parabellum’s bodycount. Considering ‘Parabellum’ means ‘Prepare for war’ in Latin, you can surmise it’s high.
In John Wick 3, we meet a man less than a week into his return to the murky underworld he left behind, but one that’s quickly becoming a distant version of the man we glimpsed at the start of the first film. That Wick was a man grieving the death of his wife and loss of his settled existence following his decision to leave the hitman life behind. So how does the John Wick of the first chapter compare to the Wick we meet in Chapter 3?
Reeves offers this: “We learn a little bit more about where John Wick is from, a little bit about his past and possible training and where he came from. I think he’s really consolidated for himself how he feels about what’s happening, why he wants to live… and so, I’d say that we get to learn that.”
Stahelski, meanwhile, says that by the end of the film, you see John Wick go full Baba Yaga: “By the end of Parabellum, you’re seeing John Wick hit that mark of the boogeyman — the way he gets a little edgy in the third act of Parabellum.”
John Wick: The Prequel
The character’s arc throughout the three films, and beyond into another sequel and whatever might come next, is precisely why Stahelski baulks at the idea of a prequel. Wick’s forward journey is just so intriguing — and, well, different.
“We thought John Wick was more interesting [after the event of his wife’s death],” says Stahelski. “I’m sure he’d be an interesting character before he met his wife, Helen, but there’s something really cool about… I think we’ve seen those kind of movies and stories before when you see the assassin meet the girl. But something to see afterwards? We never get to see [that]. That’s all John Wick’s thing, with time and consequence; what happens afterwards? What’s the next day? And that’s where we pick up John Wick.”
Reeves, meanwhile, thinks it could be interesting for a prequel to explore the ‘impossible task’ we hear about in the first film — one last job Wick was set to complete before his retirement.
John Wick: Chapter More
The events of all three films take place over the course of just a few days — but it doesn’t take long for Wick to revert to his former self. If, by the end of Parabellum, the character has developed to the point of full Baba Yaga — “Oh, boy. Oh my gosh, oh my god, he’s just lost,” says Reeves – is there any hope of Wick finding true love and becoming the family man again? Or has the John Wick persona completely overridden that identity?
“I think right now that’s not on the horizon,” says Reeves. “Which makes me want to cry. I feel bad for the guy. You know what I mean? I mean he’s got the love that he lived but…”
“That door’s not open right now,” adds Stahelski. “He’s not receptive to that idea. Hopefully, he will be [at some point in the future]…”
So does that mean we’ll definitely get a John Wick 4? Stahelski suggests that could be the case: “We still have a list [of stunts we want to do]. We didn’t use up all the ideas. There’s tons more car stuff. We pulled back on the cars — we have a lot of car stuff we’d still like to try.”
Reeves lets slip that they have “transfers” in reserve.
“It’s coming,” says Stahelski. “We have a very creative stunt team behind us.”
What about villains for John to face off against in a sequel? One fan would love to see Liam Neeson or Mel Gibson join the franchise…
Stahelski simply says, “We’d be lucky to have either.” Watch this space.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum hits screens on May 17.