While John Wick 4 may have felt like it was closing the book on the Keanu Reeves character – especially as various spinoffs are being released – the rumors are true: John Wick 5 is definitely in development.
That much was confirmed in May during a Lionsgate earnings call, when the company’s motion picture group chair Joe Drake told investors that it’s in early development. But speaking to IGN for an exclusive preview on upcoming John Wick prequel The Continental, producer Basil Iwanyk went a little further, sharing exactly where it currently is in the creative process.
“John Wick 4 was embraced enough by the critics and the audience that it's kind of an organic and natural next step to do John Wick 5,” he says. “I think that there's no question that it's in development, but right now the story isn't there yet. And until the story is there, it isn't… It's real on something we're trying to figure out. But we haven't settled on what that movie looks like or feels like.”
Plus, Hollywood’s writers are currently on strike, so any development that would’ve otherwise taken place can’t happen currently.
"We haven't settled on what that movie looks like or feels like.
John Wick 5 was originally going to be shot back-to-back with John Wick: Chapter 4, but when those plans changed, it threw the fate of a possible fifth movie into question. When John Wick: Chapter 4 cleaned up at the box office, however, Drake indicated that Lionsgate would be interested in another sequel.
But Iwanyk, who produced all four John Wick movies, upcoming Ana de Armas spinoff Ballerina, and The Continental, is careful not to overdo it, and admits to feeling anxiety in regards to over-saturating the IP.
“All we do in the John Wick universe is worry,” he tells IGN. “The reason why we worry is that we've been given this incredible gift by the audience, which is like, ‘we love you, we love John, we love this world. We want more of it. Just don't take too much advantage of it. Just don't exploit it and whatever you give us, make sure it's good and make sure it's up to snuff with what you guys have already established.’ “
He points out that John Wick’s only done four movies over the course of about a decade, with a COVID-related delay between the third and fourth. The Continental will unfold over three approximately 90-minute episodes this September and Ballerina is dated for June 7, 2024, and Iwanyk says those projects show “different shades” of the John Wick universe than what we’ve seen before.
“I think that we are being – and the studio is being – very methodical and very smart about how we do it and not go for the quick buck,’ he adds. “But at the same time, it's become a very important franchise for the studio, a very important franchise for all of us that we want to keep alive and build out, but do it in a way that's organic and respectful, for lack of a better term.”
Alex Stedman is a Senior News Editor with IGN, overseeing entertainment reporting. When she's not writing or editing, you can find her reading fantasy novels or playing Dungeons & Dragons.