Hollywood is all about the happy ending, but not for Keanu Reeves' super assassin John Wick. Whilst some would argue that each movie of the franchise so far has ended on something of a cliffhanger, director Chad Stahelski did not intend for that to be the case and certainly does not approach the story with that intention.
"On every John Wick, there's literally been a day where Keanu and I have sat in the room with whatever writing team we're working with and we go, 'OK, we're going to end it right here and that's it.' We're not looking for the Hollywood happy ending; we never have."
"At least for the Wicks, we've always liked mythology and fables, or something like that, that just kind of end and they don't tell you what happens the next day. The only modern-day example I can think of is The Graduate. You kind of get what it is. They're on the bus, they're driving... What's going to happen next? We've always wanted to end the movies like that. We don't mean for them to be cliffhangers."
So, rather than tantalizing cliffhangers, Stahelski and co. are looking to end each movie in such a way as to allow the story to continue on, rather than bring things to a neat conclusion. Most would agree that John Wick is not the kind of franchise that could believably end happily, despite us all wanting Reeves' hitman to find peace.
This, of course, brings to mind the ending of last year's John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, which finds the titular John Wick being declared excommunicado. With a hefty bounty now set on his head after he murders an international crime lord, Wick sets out to seek help to save himself from ruthless hitmen and bounty hunters.
The movie ends with Wick being shot by his friend and manager of The Continental which leads to him falling off of a roof. In the movie's final moments it is revealed that Wick's body has disappeared and been delivered to Laurence Fishburne's Bowery King, with the violent pair vowing to take their anger out on the High Table. It is an ending that feels so much like a cliffhanger that it's maddening. Even so, Stahelski is adamant that this is not their aim.
"We don't mean for them to be cliffhangers. John Wick kills 80-some-odd people over a puppy. How do you wrap that one up with a happy ending? (Laughs.) You know what I mean? The story just kind of ends. That little journey or that little part of the journey ends. In Chapter 2, we ended how we thought it would end. In Chapter 3, we just ended it... He skated that one, and some people betrayed him. Just like in regular life, you have good and bad things happen on a great day, and he skated out. We didn't mean it to be a cliffhanger."
John Wick 4 is due for release on May 27, 2022, having been delayed due to the ongoing global situation. Here's hoping it does not end on a cliffhanger...
This comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.