Unfortunately, it seems like we're going to have to wait longer than we thought for John Wick 4. A fourth installment in the action franchise was announced mere days after John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum hit theaters last year. Originally, Lionsgate had plans to get the movie in theaters next May, but according to the most recent update from director Chad Stahelski, that is going to be just shy of impossible at this point.

Hollywood is facing a weeks-long production shutdown right now, given the current state of the world, that will likely extend to a months-long shutdown before any filming can resume. Chad Stahelski, during a recent interview, revealed what effect that is going to have on John Wick 4. Couple with Keanu Reeves' commitments on The Matrix 4, they are probably going to have to wait to begin production until sometime next year. Here's what Stahelski had to say about it.

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"Between how much we want to expand the John Wick, let's just call it a 'franchise', I guess, and the pandemic, I couldn't tell you a release date for the next one. I mean, Matrix was only four weeks in when this all happened. So, Keanu's gotta go finish his commitment up on The Matrix, which is a big deal and which I think will probably take him until the end of the year. Then we have to go into our prep mode and then we'll start. So release dates, I'm sure with every production from Dave's [Leitch] stuff to our stuff, who knows right now."

When John Wick 4 was first announced, Lionsgate set a May 21, 2021 release date. Interestingly enough, when Warner Bros. hammered down a release date for The Matrix 4, they also chose May 21, 2021. That created a Keanu vs. Keanu box office showdown that many were looking forward to. Given what is being said by Chad Stahelski here, we can fairly certainly kiss that goodbye.

While plot details remain firmly under wraps for the fourth installment in the acclaimed action series, it seems as though Chad Stahelski, who co-directed the original and flew solo for the sequels, plans to be ambitious with this one. A big part of the sequels has been expanding the complex universe these assassins live in. As for what, specifically, that expansion will entail during Mr. Wick's next outing? That remains to be seen. All we know for sure is that Keanu Reeves will be back, presumably to go to war with the High Table, given the ending of Parabellum.

To date, across three entries, the John Wick franchise has grossed $573 million at the global box office, with each sequel grossing nearly double what the previous entry earned. Lionsgate is also currently developing a spin-off TV series, The Continental, that is set to air on Starz. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via Collider.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott