Back before the coronavirus pandemic broke everything, everyone gathered together and celebrated the news that two big Keanu Reeves sequels – The Matrix 4 and John Wick 4 – were going to be released on the same day, May 21, 2021. Then everything got shut down and delayed. So where does that leave that double-dose of Keanu? According to John Wick director Chad Stahelski, a guy who is also working on Matrix 4, the John Wick 4 release date is all but guaranteed to change at this point. Plus: Stahelski reveals that after John Wick 3, Keanu Reeves seemed ready to hang up his guns and call it quits on the franchise – only to then quickly change his mind.
Over at Collider, Chad Stahelski provided some new details regarding John Wick Chapter 4, which may or may not be the end of the road for Keanu Reeves. Because as Stahelski tells it, Reeves said he was done with the series after Chapter 3. “We finished the third one and Keanu and I are like, ‘Okay, time to move on. Let’s go do a romantic comedy or something. We’re good,’” Stahelski said, adding:
“Then we just kinda met each other when we were doing the publicity tour and I think we were in Japan, and Keanu goes, ‘I think I got one more left in me,’ and we had one idea we didn’t use which we really loved and we have to cut it out of number three [Parabellum], just didn’t have the space for it. So we’re like, ‘Okay, we’ll do a fourth. That’s gonna be awesome. We’ll make a plan.’ The studios […] went, ‘We totally get what you’re trying to do.’ We submitted an idea or thematic [plan] and it was really big. So, we’re talking about doing a little bit more than a [John Wick 4], or something like that, and trying to develop that. We’ll see how that goes.”
The “thematic plan” might refer to plans for a TV series (The Continental), but this is all a little big vague. But at least we can rest assured John Wick 4 is happening. That said, Stahelski also added that they don’t even have a first draft of the script yet:
“We have, I wouldn’t call it a first draft but I’d call it a ‘scriptment’: A written-out story, part outline, part script, part thing. We know where we want to go, we know the thematics. We call it “the toy box.” It’s like a 100-and-something page document, but some of it’s written. It’s a good place to start. Then we start thinning it out, and then we work with the writers to get the right scenes, and then we start working with Keanu’s dialogue. It’s a very outward-in process for us. Then, we’ll do the inward-outward process which is about character. So, to answer your question, I’m in a happy place where we are in development. We got, not quite a locked-in first draft, but we’re in a place where we know what we want do and where we want to do it.”
The fact that there’s no script yet ties into the release date delay. As Stahelski says: “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.”
He goes on to explain that Reeves still has to finish shooting Matrix 4, a film that had to shut down production due to the coronavirus outbreak:
“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 the we’ll start.”
In other words, don’t count on that May 21, 2021 date to stick. Sorry.
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