To some surprise, the John Wick franchise has quickly become one of the most adored action series in recent history, with Keanu Reeves bringing another iconic hero to life. Following this years ecstatically received Chapter Two, Lionsgate has pushed forward with John Wick Chapter 3 which now has a release date of May 17th, 2019. Initial rumors suggested that Lionsgate had put the third instalment on the fast track with many believing that production was going to start as soon as this fall. But it seems unlikely that production will start before the end of the year and a new report suggests that production for John Wick 3 has been pushed back to sometime in 2018.

Omega Underground has been tracking on production of John Wick 3 and specifically the casting and location scouting aspects of the production. So far, there hasn't been any movement on the highly anticipated movie leading to speculation that the third movie might not be on as fast of a track as previously assumed. Lionsgate has set the release date for May 17th, 2019, which gives us the impression a spring-summer production start is most likely happening, now that a fall 2017 shoot is unrealistic at this point.

One particular reason for the perceived delay could be that David Leitch is trying to finish post on Deadpool 2, which comes out on June 1st, 2018, before production on Chapter 3 begins, keeping the creative team on board for all three of the projects. No specific plot points have been released as of yet, but it looks as if we will see John Wick in some sort of trouble as star Keanu Reeves stated as much at New York Comic-Con recently. Reeves also mentioned that he's working with director Chad Stahelski, who helmed the second movie and co-directed the first movie with David Leitch.

Related: Watch Keanu Reeves Pull Off a Crazy Horseback Stunt in John Wick 3

The franchise has been a success for the studio with a combined $260 million dollars in worldwide grosses and Lionsgate executives have indicated in recent months that they were planning a third movie. Both movies were directed by Chad Stahelski from scripts written by Derek Kolstad with Keanu Reeves portraying a retired hitman seeking vengeance for the killing of his puppy, which was a gift from his late wife. Both John Wick movies featured elaborate stunts and an impressive body count as Reeves fended off numerous gunmen out to kill him. The second movie featured a Matrix reunion with Laurence Fishburne starring.

The John Wick franchise has gained a lot of momentum, and it will be interesting to see if the upcoming third installment will bring Wick's story to a close or if it's another entry in an ongoing series. Judging by the prime May release date, Lionsgate probably wants it to be the latter. More news about John Wick 3 is expected to be announced soon, but in the meantime, check out some more information about when production may start courtesy of Omega Underground.