Is John Wick Secretly Part Of This Hit Sci-Fi Franchise?

A fan theory presents compelling evidence that Keanu Reeves' John Wick is actually a training simulation taking place in The Matrix.

By Danyell Marshall | Updated

John Wick Ballerina

Far Out Magazine asks, “Is John Wick a Matrix training program?” Fans theorize about connections between two of Keanu Reeves‘ most iconic roles, and the evidence is admittedly compelling. The film’s director, Chad Stahelski, has personal connections to both franchises and makes several direct nods to the sci-fi classic.

References to the Matrix, and clues that John Wick could live in a simulated environment, fuel fan theories about the character’s true nature. Like Neo in the Matrix, John Wick faces wave after wave of foes without suffering a defeat. However, his stamina and abilities seem to defy reality, as does the level of cruel tragedy in the plot.

It’s not just the titular character that gives fans the unease of uncanny valley. Like the Matrix scene following the woman in the red dress, John Wick contains a moment where time stands still. Towards the end of John Wick Chapter 2, people in a bustling park are frozen in time as if an omnipotent force is controlling reality.

No matter how over-the-top the action gets in John Wick, no bystanders seem too concerned by Keanu Reeves’ battered and bloody appearance. These passive responses can come across as pre-programmed, making civilians seem more like NPCs in a video game. A strong John Wick is in the Matrix link divides those who see through the veil and those who don’t.

Small details in the John Wick universe support the artificial reality theory, like the currency used by characters in the movie. Metal coins replace paper currency or modern baking in another move reminiscent of video games. Currency is a landmark feature that identifies the geographical setting of a film, so this change is likely meant to create a disorienting feeling.

If the subtle John Wick/Matrix similarities weren’t enough, director Chad Stahelski included nods to the classic in John Wick: Chapter 3, including direct quotes. In the John Wick sequel, and the Matrix, both main characters are asked what they need to defeat their foes. Both give the same answer: “Guns…lots of guns.”

John Wick and The Matrix’s Trinity together, could this happen?

Chad Stahelski isn’t just a fan of the Matrix; he served as a stunt double for Reeves on the set of the 1999 iconic film. In addition, Stahelski did stunt work on films in the Deadpool franchise, working in coordination and stunt choreography, as well as production. Keanu isn’t his only Matrix colleague to work on John Wick, as Lawrence Fishburne joins his fellow alums playing The Bowery King. In addition, Stahelski was offered an acting role in The Matrix Resurrections, continuing his relationship with the franchise.

Fishburne enjoys a nod to his Matrix role in John Wick when his character is seen gesturing to red and blue bins during a scene. Reminiscent of the red and blue pills Morpheus offers Neo, the visual cue is another stitch knitting the two film universes together. As fan theories go, this one isn’t too far-fetched.

With clear connections to the Matrix, hints at simulated reality, and John Wick’s incredible fighting abilities, is it possible that his world, and maybe the character himself, isn’t real? It’s a compelling fan theory that could potentially soothe the emotional blow of watching the 2019 action hit. But then, the next time fans watch Wick lose everything, they can tell themselves it’s just a simulation.