Despite Studio Pressure, Keanu Reeves Action Series is Likely Over

in Entertainment, Movies

Keanu Reeves in John Wick

Credit: Lionsgate

No one quite knew what the John Wick series would become, simply because it was an action film that had appeared out of thin air but captured the attention of many fans. The franchise has made well over $1 billion through four movies, which is huge for any action film series. However, despite Lionsgate confirming the fifth movie would happen, director Chad Stahelski is far less optimistic about a sequel with Keanu Reeves.

keanu reeves, laurence fishburne, ian mcshane john wick 4
Credit: Lionsgate

Related: ‘John Wick’ Officially Passes $1 Billion, Could Force Keanu Reeves into Returning

It stands to reason that both Reeves and Stahelski want to be done with this story and these characters. Despite being a dedicated actor, Reeves still does not want to overstay his welcome. He appeared in The Matrix trilogy but left behind Neo for 18 years. He eventually returned to the character, but it was not a lighthearted decision.

We imagine the same would be for him to want to return to John Wick. Granted, Keanu Reeves will reprise the character for the spinoff film, Ballerina, but that is because it takes place before the events of the fourth John Wick film. The fourth film in the mainline franchise summed things up quite well and allowed for a sort of full-circle narrative to take place.

The issue is that Lionsgate knows how much people love these films. John Wick: Chapter 4, especially. The sequel has made $427 million in worldwide sales, making it the most successful film in the series by a longshot. This led to Lionsgate being overzealous with the idea of Chad Stahelski and Keanu Reeves returning for another film.

However, Stahelski is still not convinced.

We Want More Keanu Reeves in ‘John Wick’ Films, But the “Why” Isn’t There

keanu reeves looking battered john wick 4
Credit: Lionsgate

Chad Stahelski is likely tired of answering questions about John Wick, but let that be a testament to how good these films have been. Stahelski was interviewed by Empire when he revealed the latest on the sequel. At first, he simply stated, “I have no idea,” regarding the most straightforward question about the possibility of John Wick 5 happening.

However, he broke things down a bit more, stating he could wake up the following day and have a good idea that he would pitch to Keanu Reeves and Lionsgate. That moment has yet to happen, though.

At first, Stahelski commented on the idea that if he was not willing to step into the director’s chair and if someone else came in with a pitch for the fifth film. According to Stahelski”

“I keep a really open mind. If somebody I’ve never met before walks in that door and lays down this pitch, it’d be worth the talk. But I’m very selfish and jealous. I’m a control freak. I want to smack you just for suggesting it. [Laughs] Like, how dare you? Of course I want to do it.”

We completely understand that he would want control over the franchise he created. Having to give over control to someone else when he has been working, likely over a decade, on the same material would be heartbreaking. But more important is the pitch that he mentioned initially. There has to be a resounding idea that brings everyone back into the fold, and that might not be here yet. Stahelski added:

“Now we’ve done the four, and completed the circle, so to speak, I think it’s pretty good closure for the series. And then there’s the competitor, or the real director in me who goes, ‘F*** it, let’s just see if we can do it.’ It’s very appealing. I just don’t have the ‘why’ yet. But that doesn’t mean we should stop looking.”

The good news in his words is that he feels that he might unearth an idea that appeals to Keanu Reeves, which will lead to the actor wanting to return. There cannot be John Wick without Reeves, but Lionsgate might find a way to make it happen regardless.

The Continental is set to premiere on Peacock, a prequel series that follows the creation of the New York Continental, the hub for assassins that Winston Duke runs. Ian McShane portrays Duke in the mainline films, but Colin Woodell will portray him in the series, as it takes place years before the events of the John Wick films.

There is also Ballerina, which is set for a June 2024 release. This spinoff film showcases one of the many factions in this world of assassins. The dancing faction was introduced in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, which The Director (Angelica Houston) runs. Her faction is filled with ballerinas who are deadly as they are nimble.

This could mean that even more factions might be explored in future properties. Keanu Reeves could theoretically show up in past sequences for these properties, which would not force him to commit fully.

On a more selfish note, we would love to see more John Wick films. However, we are also happy with how they have worked out thus far. Keanu Reeves is a beloved actor that is genuinely great in everything he does. When the man says he needs a break, the world should respect that.

Caine talking to John Wick
Credit: Lionsgate

However, he is an actor that welcomes a challenge, much like Chad Stahelski. So, if and when they come up with a worthwhile idea, Keanu Reeves will suit up as everyone’s favorite assassin. However, it’s never a good idea to be forced into making another film in a franchise that is deemed to have ended. Though we all want more John Wick, it might be time to set it free.

Do you want Keanu Reeves back as John Wick? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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