Long before John Wick: Chapter 2 hit theaters in February, director Chad Stahelski revealed that Lionsgate has already asked him to start exploring ideas for John Wick 3. The filmmaker confirmed that both Ian McShane's Winston, the owner of the Continental Hotel, and Lance Reddick's Charon, the hotel concierge, will be back, along with Keanu Reeves as the title character. While doing press for the home video release of John Wick: Chapter 2, director Chad Stahelski revealed that he's currently in the middle of writing the script. Here's what the filmmaker had to say below.
"Yeah we're currently in the middle of writing it right now. It's more of a how fast can we get our shit together. But I would assume that if not by the end of this year, (shooting may start at) the beginning of next year."
The first John Wick movie put directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch on the map, although the filmmakers decided to part ways for now, with Chad Stahelski directing John Wick: Chapter 2 and David Leitch moving on to direct the upcoming Atomic Blonde, which hits theaters July 28. Both filmmakers have highly-anticipated projects they're working on now, with Chad Stahelski attached to the Highlander reboot, and David Leitch about to start filming on Deadpool 2. Chad Stahelski wouldn't confirm if he will be back to direct John Wick 3, but he hopes the scheduling can be worked out. Here's what he had to say in his interview with Collider
"Currently I'm acting as prep director. Hopefully everything will work out time wise. Of course, I would love to."
If filming does end up starting early next year, it's possible that David Leitch may be available, after the Deadpool 2 shoot, but it still hasn't been confirmed when the Highlander project will start filming. Still even if neither director comes back, Chad Stahelski teased that they have a very good idea of what will happen in John Wick 3, which won't necessarily be a bigger movie, but will go deeper into this universe. Here's what he had to say below.
"We want, not so much to go bigger on the third one, but to show you more of the intricacies of the world... I feel like there are all these different subtleties that I skipped over in Number Two, that I'd like to go back to on [chapter three] and show you the inner workings of different parts of New York. So rather than massive set pieces, I'd like to show you cooler and more intricate ones... I think it would be a mistake budget wise and creatively to just go big and blow up a freeway. That's not our gig. That's a comic book or a Bond gig. We want to show you cool and intricate details. What are those little details in everyday life? Hopefully, we make people look at garbage collectors and cleaner vans and homeless people a little differently now."
Shortly after the second movie hit theaters, Keanu Reeves revealed on a podcast that he wants John Wick 3 to essentially pick up where the second movie left off, showing his title character literally trying to escape from New York City. The end of the second movie featured Winston informing John that the contract on his life has gone global, with the High Table doubling the contract amount, and the Continental declaring John Wick "excommunicado," losing all of the Continental's privileges and resources. However, Winston delays the official announcement of this contract by an hour, giving John a head start, as he flees on foot with his loyal dog. When asked about the story arc for the third movie, Chad Stahelski had this to say.
"We're very comfortable with where we want [John Wick] to go in the third one and what Keanu wants to do. If you really watch the first and second one, there's only one place it can go, so I'll let you sort that out. It's not about you finding a hidden book or a secret map about who John Wick is. Anyone watching can start piecing it together. You know he's had some serious training. Was it military? Ehh, he kind of looks military. Where's he from? Well, he speaks all these languages. We're giving you the pieces and I think it's always good... Hopefully in five years, you and your buddies will talk about how 'he's this or he's that.' We'll give you a couple more pieces and let you stitch it together."
Lionsgate hasn't set a release date for John Wick 3, but we learned in March that another prominent actor wants to join the franchise. Samuel L. Jackson revealed to a reporter that he'd like to team up with Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne in John Wick 3, with the reporter teasing that the actor would do "whatever it takes" to land a role in this sequel. If production does in fact start at the end of this year or the start of next year on John Wick 3, perhaps we'll start hearing about new characters and cast members sooner rather than later.