The John Wick series has quickly become one of the best action film franchises ever. The most recent installment, titled John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, hit theaters in 2019, deepening and darkening the shadowy, back-stabby underworld of rule-bound assassins. Now, though, new word regarding the highly anticipated John Wick 4 has hit the web, and it is not encouraging for those looking forward to the film. And no, it is not the news that it isn’t filming back-to-back with John Wick 5 (although that does kinda suck).
During a new interview with Collider‘s Steve Weintraub, the writer of the first three John Wick movies, Derek Kolstad, dropped the bombshell that he would not be returning to write the fourth installment in the series. This is huge news, but hopefully, it does not hurt the upcoming film too much.
Here’s what Kolstad said about the change-up during his chat with Weintraub:
No, it wasn’t my decision. When you think of the contractually of these things, the third one I shared the credit with any number of people, they didn’t have to come back to me, and so they didn’t. At a certain stage the studio will tell you, your creation is graduated, and you wish it well. I’m still close with Chad (Stahelski), still close with David (Leitch), and I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m excited to see.
Judging from Kolstad’s comments, it almost seems like he is saying goodbye to not just John Wick 4, but to the franchise as a whole. Obviously, this is just one interpretation of what he said and should not be taken as fact, but what is fact is that Kolstad is not returning for the fourth installment.
In terms of what is next for the John Wick franchise aside from John Wick 4, we know that a television series set in that universe called The Continental is coming. Beyond that, we know that fourth and fifth installments in the main franchise are on the way, and that we will reportedly be getting some big John Wick news within the next few weeks.
According to Weintraub’s various interviews with the John Wick crew, the franchise’s director so far, Chad Stahelski, is returning to helm John Wick 4, and Keanu Reeves will be reprising his role as the titular hero. Mike Finch has replaced Derek Kolstad as the main writer. We should not pass judgment on Finch just yet because we don’t know what he is going to do with the character. For all we know, his take on John Wick could be incredible. We will have to wait and see if he ends up doing a solid job. I’ll definitely give him the benefit of the doubt, though!
Still, it will be interesting to see how Kolstad’s absence will affect John Wick 4. The series has benefitted greatly from his involvement, and it would be a shame to see the fourth installment suffer because he is not a part of it. Hopefully, that does not happen and we are treated to another memorable action movie worth multiple viewings and lots of discussion.
We have not heard much about the John Wick series for almost a year now, and the wait is getting more and more painful. That’s obviously a bit dramatic, but you know what I mean. Hopefully, the next bit of news we get regarding John Wick 4 will not involve word that Keanu Reeves is ditching the franchise for that horror movie with Timothee Chalamet. Only time will tell, but it better not tell us that.