The third installment of the John Wick franchise is on its way, and details on the production have been spread thin in the news cycle.
John Wick has become an instant classic in the action genre, with many people calling the stoic hit man their new favorite hero — or anti-hero. It also had the rare distinction of a massively successful sequel, with some even rating John Wick: Chapter 2 higher than its predecessors.
This puts a lot of pressure on the third movie, though as we have all learned by now, John Wick works well under pressure. The reluctant assassin has to deliver another action-packed film full of cold-blooded kills and poignant yet simple emotional beats. On top of that, to compete with Chapter 2 this new movie must continue to expand upon the increasingly strange world it has created, introducing new elements and testing the borders of its own fantastical constructions.
By all accounts, the movie is up to the task. Here's a look at everything we know so far about the upcoming John Wick sequel.
One of the first big revelations about the movie was its title. After the first two installments, many assumed that the next movie would be titled simply John Wick: Chapter 3. However, the producers seem to have decided to break the mold here, titling the project John Wick 3: Parabellum.
Keanu Reeves himself announced the new name in an interview with ComingSoon.net. He noted that it came from the Latin expression “si vis parcem, para bellum,” which means “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
Right now, John Wick 3: Parabellum is scheduled to hit theaters on May 17, 2019, though it is still unclear if that is a reliable date. According to Digital Trends, the movie entered pre-production a little late, and Hollywood has a history of pushing these premieres around a little bit.
Still, Reeves and his co-stars have definitely been filming recently, so chances are good that John Wick will be on the screen according to plan.
Hard as it is to believe, some characters other than John Wick himself survived the first two movies, and they will be returning for the third installment. The film's official Twitter account has confirmed that Laurence Fishburne will reprise his role as Bowery King, while Ian McShane will be back as Winston, the agreeable owner of the Continental Hotel. There is no telling whose side these characters will be on, however, as the tweet read: "Old friends. New enemies."
Lance Reddick and John Leguizamo will also reprise their roles.
Naturally, some new faces will have to fill out the cast. Back in May, Halle Berry confirmed that she would be in Parabellum in a post on Instagram. The production has since released photos of her in costume as Sofia, though we still do not know much about who she is and what she's up to.
There are also unsubstantiated rumors that Hiroyuki Sanada will be in the new movie, possibly as the main villain. Many have speculated that he could play another crime boss — possibly from the Yakuza. Sanada and Reeves have worked together before, in the 2013 movie 47 Ronin.
Tilda Swinton was also rumored to be in the cast, though there is no official word on that. Confirmed new cast members include Jason Mantzoukas, Anjelica Huston and Asia Kate Dillon.
John Wick 3: Parabellum has been filming in New York City and Montreal throughout the summer. The production has also done some filming at locations in Russia and Spain.
It is unclear if photography is wrapped yet, but cinematographer Dan Lausten has posted some breathtaking shots of the action.
Back in April, Lionsgate released a full synopsis for the movie at Cincema Con 2018. It seems to follow John Wick trying to escape for once, rather than hunting someone down. Here is their full release:
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is on the run for two reasons … he’s being hunted for a global $14 million dollar open contract on his life, and for breaking a central rule: Taking a life on Continental Hotel grounds. The victim was a member of the High Table who ordered the open contract. John should have already been executed, except the Continental’s manager, Winston, has given him a one-hour grace period before he’s “excommunicado” – membership revoked, banned from all services, and cut off from other members. John uses the service industry to stay alive as he fights and kills his way out of New York City.
Two clips have leaked from the set of John Wick 3: Parabellum -- both in New York City. One shows John Wick and King Bowery on a rainy rooftop, and had some fans worried that things might not look good for Fishburne's character as he gets slashed with a sword.
The other showed Wick in his signature head-to-toe black suit, battling it out in the middle of Grand Central Station with a few strangers.
As the trilogy nears its end, it may re-examine its beginning. Director Chad Stahelski said that John Wick's mysterious past might finally become a focus in Parabellum, during an interview with The Independent last summer.
“We are going to put in something about the High Table, how that all works,” he said. “We’re going to put in something about where John comes from, and where he wants to go. I don’t want to say too much more, but it will be a nice completion to Mr. Wick’s journey.”