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Sunday, May 19, 2024

‘John Wick 5’ is back on the table after a box office hit

John Wick: Chapter 4 was supposed to be the final installment in the main action series, but the fifth installment returns to the table after the film’s stunning start at the global box office, according to Joe Drake, president of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.

Directed by Chad Stahelski and featuring Keanu Reeves in the lead role as the legendary assassin, this unstoppable action film grossed $73.8 million domestically to rave reviews and an A CinemaScore from audiences. The results were equally impressive overseas, where the film debuted with an impressive $67.6 million from 71 markets for a worldwide debut of $141.4 million, a franchise record on all fronts.

Making the fifth part of John Wick was no small challenge considering Reeves’ character died at the end of Chapter 4. But on Sunday, Lionsgate’s Drake told The Hollywood Reporter that John Wick 5 is no longer being canceled.

“There is a will and openness. And you can interpret that ending in different ways,” Drake said. “We’re all going to take a short break here and then see if there’s a reliable way to get five points. But there are no guarantees.”

This is a potential duel for the creative team, as Stahelski stated that he and Reeves are pretty sure this is the end. Stahelski had previously considered making a fourth and fifth film in a row, but the idea was dropped after the end of Chapter 4 was decided upon.

Drake commented, “Keanu and Chad are cautious not to mess with the audience. So we have a lot to do… Keanu is so lovable, and this character is so lovely; he won’t lose that.

Reeves also noted that John Wick 4 was the second-best opening of his domestic career after The Matrix Recharge, which opened two decades ago in 2003 for $91.8 domestically. (On the animation side, Reeves stars as the voice of Pixar’s Toy Story 4, which grossed $121 million domestically in its 2019 opening weekend).

Regardless of the fate of John Wick 5, there will be more of Reeves as a character in the future, though not in a significant role. He appeared in Ballerina, the first spin-off series, with Ana de Armas as an indomitable assassin. Ian McShane, Anjelica Huston, and the late Lance Reddick also star in the film, which will be released next year; it is set between the events of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and John Wick: Chapter 4 and directed by Len Wiseman B.

“He played in Ballerina, which is interesting, in a very strategic way. And we’re talking about a few other people he could get involved with,” Drake said. “I know Chad has a lot of great ideas.”

While Reeves and Stahelski sounded pretty adamant that Baba Yaga was dead when they performed at the recent South by Southwest Film and Television Festival, the editing of Chapter 4’s final moments left quite a bit of ambiguity (Wick isn’t shown dead) for the makers. Film. have some leeway if they want to bring him back with a false revelation of his death.

There is another option if Reeves wants to return to the role – to do a backstory before Wick retires to settle down with his wife, though this would require Wick to play a much younger version of the character than he has previously done. Luckily, as one SXSW viewer told Reeves, he isn’t aging. “Yeah, I’m getting old,” Reeves, 58, replied wearily. “It happens, boys.”

Drake hinted at the backstory as possible, noting, “They could definitely get away [with the story] quicker.”

This SXSW screening was the key to the latest breakthrough in the marketing campaign, which even won praise from its competitors—led by Lionsgate Motion Picture Group vice chairman Adam Fogelson, along with Motion Picture Group marketing president JP Richards and vice president Kerry Moore, the campaign cement John Wick as a man – not a superhero – on a journey motivated by love and the pain of loss.

In a recent interview with THR ahead of the film hitting theaters, Stahelski explained that despite Lionsgate’s hesitation, he and Reeves are pretty sure this is the end. He said the studio’s response to Wick’s murder was, in his words, “What were you thinking?” Still, Stahelski hasn’t wholly turned down a fifth outing.

“Wicks always gets the latest release date in Japan for some strange reason. It’s always like three months later,” the director said in a separate interview, imagining how they could have dreamed up a fifth. “Keanu and I would make the long trip to Tokyo, sit in the Scottish bar at the Imperial Hotel, and say, ‘What do you think?'” We’d drink 20-year-old whiskey and jot down some ideas on napkins. If this idea sticks, maybe we’ll make a movie.

A fifth possibility also comes in a world where many actors have retired from roles only to return.

Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore noted, “Many boxers, rock bands, and top athletes have announced their retirement only to change their minds, so it would be unwise to count John out, even though the future of the most popular and legendary killer is, let’s say, in doubt. Forget it.” at this point, and given the incredible success of this latest installment, it’s more than proof that fans worldwide aren’t quite ready to say goodbye to the great Baba Yaga. Neither does the studio.

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