John Wick 5 Is In The Works - But Don't Expect A Happy Ending

So many action movies and revenge thrillers tell the surface-level story of a man or a woman who has been slighted by society and turns their attention to retribution. "Gladiator," "Kill Bill," "The Count of Monte Cristo," and "Unforgiven" are some of the best in the industry. But "John Wick" has done what those others couldn't: it turned the concept of revenge into a multi-film franchise, along with spin-offs and TV series. Now that we know "John Wick 5" is happening, we can look back and prepare ourselves for what is bound to be a very unhappy ending as the franchise wraps up. "He's f***ed for the rest of his life. It's just a matter of time," director Chad Stahelski told IndieWire.

Many of us have been in a place where we feel truly broken. We find ourselves stuck in a corner and surrounded by grief, despair, or an overwhelming sense of loss. That is what makes John Wick (Keanu Reeves) the kind of character who can take a simple revenge thriller and turn it into a massive franchise. Of course, the realness and relatability are part of the reason we can't expect him to ride off into the sunset. Repercussions are real, and that is what sets "John Wick" apart from the rest of the subgenre of revenge thrillers. 

Get excited about the future return of Wick, but prepare yourself for an ending that doesn't see him enjoying your typical happy outcome.

There is no peace for John Wick

When John Wick pulled the trigger on Santino D'Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), a new High Table member, on The Continental Hotel's sacred ground in "John Wick: Chapter 2," he sealed his fate. There are unbreakable rules in the world of John Wick, and conducting business on the grounds of these hotels worldwide is one of them. We have since seen him spend the following two movies fleeing for his life and fighting off countless assassination attempts. In his interview with Indie Wire, Stahelski confessed that this is the only logical ending for the former hitman.

"John may survive all this s***, but at the end of it, there's no happy ending. He's got nowhere to go," Stahelski said. "Honestly, I challenge you right now; here's a question to you: How do you f***ing want me to end it? Do you think he's going to ride off into the f***ing sunset? He's killed 300 f***ing people, and he's just going to [walk away]; everything's okay? He's just going to fall in love with a love interest?" He added that if Wick existed in real life, he would likely be a tortured individual for the rest of his days, and it might not be long before this becomes evident.

While Stahelski defended his apparent decision to give the character a tragic conclusion, the existence of "John Wick 5" seems to question everything he is saying. There is also an interview with Empire Magazine where Stahelski admitted that he shot an alternate ending to "John Wick: Chapter 4" where the titular character clearly survived. However, fans apparently preferred the ambiguous ending, which begs the question.

Does John Wick 5 actually work?

We will be the first in line to buy tickets to the next film that Keanu Reeves does with his old buddy Chad Stahelski, but should it be "John Wick 5"? Bringing the former assassin back for a fifth go-round is an excellent idea financially for the studio and everyone involved. The action and the stunt work are always top-notch and enjoyable to watch. But does it create an unfixable storyline problem?

If you let him live at the end of "John Wick 5," what does that do for the rest of the films? The first film saw him reverse the course he was on, where he accomplished the impossible task to achieve the impossible goal of getting out of the life. If you allow him to accomplish the impossible task of being free from the High Table yet again, how difficult is the task? Even if he does survive, he is still grieving over his late wife. So, the only peace for Wick seems to be in death.

But if you kill him off again, can fans really believe he is gone for good? You killed him once (allegedly) and brought him back. If you do it again, many viewers won't believe it. Bringing him back only to kill him again also cheapens the ending of "John Wick: Chapter 4." So the question remains: should this film work? If anyone can figure out how to solve that puzzle, it is Reeves and Stahelski.