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“We Let Everybody Down”: Why John Wick 3’s Ending Felt Disappointing To Keanu Reeves & Director-TGN

Summary

  • Director Chad Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves felt they let people down with the ending of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, which is why they felt motivated to return for Chapter 4.
  • The cliffhanger ending of John Wick 3 sets the stage for a follow-up chapter in Wick’s story and likely would’ve been disappointing had it served as a franchise finale as originally planned.
  • Ending the franchise with the third movie also would have robbed audiences of John Wick: Chapter 4, which has been the best-received entry in the franchise.


John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum director Chad Stahelski explains why he and star Keanu Reeves wanted to take another crack at the franchise after feeling like they let people down with the third movie’s ending. Released in 2019, the third film in the franchise sees Reeves’ titular assassin on the run with a massive bounty on his head. The film was a hit critically and commercially, and memorably ends with Wick being shot off a rooftop and then vowing to wage war against the High Table.

In a recent interview with Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Stahelski explains that he and Reeves were partly inspired to make John Wick: Chapter 4 because they felt like they had disappointed audiences with the John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum ending.

Ultimately, both he and Reeves felt like they could do better and deliver something more satisfying and conclusive. Check out Stahelski’s full comment below:

“We did the third movie and then we were really done. We’re like, ‘We’re done.’ And then again, it was a year later, Keanu and I both felt like we kind of let everybody down with the ending of number 3.

“I think it was well-received but it was kind of like, people really like John and they’re like, ‘What the f–k, guys? You know, that was an action ending, great. But okay, what the f–k? Tough talking mythology here and you didn’t really wrap it up. And we started talking more and more, and we just felt like we didn’t leave everything we had on the table.”


It’s Good John Wick Didn’t End With Chapter 3

After John Wick: Chapter 2 largely improved everything about the first movie, expectations were high for the third installment. Stahelski and Reeves pulled out all the stops with the action set pieces in the third film, reaching new franchise highs while further expanding the world of the story. In many ways, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum made clear that there was still gas left in the franchise’s tank, and the ending seemingly confirmed this.

The cliffhanger ending directly sets up a follow-up chapter in Wick’s story, and the critical and commercial success of the film made it seem as if another sequel was all but guaranteed. It would have been disappointing, then, if the ending to John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum was really the franchise’s ending. Plus, as Stahelski suggests, the grand mythological themes and inspirations for the story don’t really lend themselves well to leaving Wick’s story largely unresolved.

In addition to the fact that the ending of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum would have been disappointing had it served as a franchise finale, in hindsight, ending the franchise there would have robbed audiences of the fourth film, which might just be the best movie in the franchise. Stahelski and Reeves have once again outdone themselves with the latest installment, this time more conclusively wrapping up Wick’s story while still leaving room for John Wick 5.

Source: Josh Horowitz/ YouTube

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