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The Future Of The John Wick Franchise Is Unknown According To The Series' Director

The trailer for "John Wick: Chapter 4" has been released into the wild, and holy smokes does it look like Keanu Reeves and company are set to deliver another bone-breaking, bullet-blasting beast of an action flick. If you're surprised by that fact, well, you clearly haven't been paying attention, because the "John Wick" franchise has excelled as much as any in history at upping the proverbial ante with each new chapter. And it continues to do so with almost unfathomable style.

Along with first-rate world-building and an artfully ambitious approach to its unabashedly over-the-top action scenes, that hyper-stylized approach has helped make the Wick-verse the new gold standard for action franchises. That's especially true as the "John Wick" films are based on a wholly original concept, and thus beholden to no source material or fandom. The series' boldly original idea has been integral to its success as it has allowed the series' various creatives to not only take the story any direction they like but to build an endlessly fascinating criminal underworld the likes of which cinema has arguably never seen.

As it stands, "John Wick" fans cannot get enough of that world. And indeed, even as we're still several months from the March 2023 release of "John Wick: Chapter 4," franchise faithfuls are already clamoring for "Chapter 5." But according to series director Chad Stahelski, that film's future is currently uncertain. 

Stahleski offered a refreshingly candid assessment of the John Wick franchise

That may come as a surprise to some as "John Wick" franchise backers at Lionsgate initially announced that "John Wick: Chapter 4" and "John Wick: Chapter 5" would shoot simultaneously (via Entertainment Weekly). But as "Chapter 4" closed in on the start of production, it was revealed that would not be the case after all (per Collider). Unexpectedly, fans haven't received any concrete updates about the project since.  

Franchise helmer Chad Stahelski has just shed a little light on the matter, however. And unfortunately, the news may not be all good as he can't say when, or even if "Chapter 5" is going to happen. He did, however, claim that Lionsgate seems dedicated to keeping the "John Wick" train rolling, stating, "[As of right] now it is the studio's [full] intention to continue the franchise." That much is crystal clear by the numerous "John Wick" spin-off series Lionsgate has in various stages of development. But fans would no doubt be crushed if Stahelski and Keanu Reeves closed out the original series earlier than anticipated.

Stahelski went on to offer some hilarious insight into the franchise's origins, quipping, "Look, man. 'John Wick 1' was a goof. We made it as a fun little action movie that we'd like to see." He further added he's as surprised as anyone that people are still so invested in the franchise: "It changed my life. It changed Keanu's life. It's changed a lot of other people's lives. And people still want to see more."

Stahelski is still quite optimistic about the franchise's future

Fear not, "John Wick" fans — even if Chad Stahelski claims the franchise started out as "a goof," he's beyond happy to be a part of the action, telling Collider, "I am the luckiest dude out there. The fact that fans still want to see more, the fact that we still want to make more is a testament." Stahelski's comment is telling as it's clear the director does indeed want to make another "John Wick" movie, noting later in the interview, "We'd love to keep going until we all drop or can't walk or can't direct anymore."

It seems Stahelski has a pretty good idea of when the next chapter in the franchise will start to take shape too. "I have no doubt that we'll [he and Keanu Reeves] start jonesing about a year from now going, 'Yeah, it's time to make a 'Wick," Stahelski said. He went on to add, "Literally, every 'Wick' has been written or at least conceptualized in Japan at the Imperial Hotel with me and Keanu on our press tour. It starts with a few glasses of Yamazaki or Hibiki and next thing you know, we're like, 'I didn't know we could do this.' And that's how we start writing them."

That statement makes clear that "Chapter 5" of "John Wick" is not yet written, which is a bit surprising given its production status back in 2020. But if nothing else, fans now know when to expect status updates for the anxiously-anticipated project.