After the epilogue shown in John Wick 4, a sequel has been confirmed to be in production. What will happen in this new and unexpected chapter?
John Wicklethal and elegant assassin played brilliantly by Keanu Reeves (Constantine, Matrix), has already said it all in a saga that, after the epilogue shown within John Wick 4, seemed to have lost its bearing figure. A perfect farewell, consistent with the narrative arc of the character which among other things represents the perfect opening to the Wickverse, but apparently the plans of Chad Stahelski and Lionsgate are very different.
A few days ago, in fact, in addition to the launch of other projects related to the universe of Baba Yaga (in addition to the series The Continental and allo spin-off Ballerina that are on their way), the official confirmation of a has arrived fifth chapter of John Wick, shocking news that no one would have ever expected, considering what we see inside the previous film. Therefore it is appropriate to ask ourselves what we will see in the film, reflecting on who the protagonist could be.
An unexpected decision
Before going into the actual analysis, one wonders, first of all, if indeed John Wick 5 it was already foreseen even before the arrival of the fourth chapter or if it was a decision made only recently. Notwithstanding that, in the cinematic world, premeditation and long-term planning are often the basis of most successful franchises and sagas, in this case it really seems that this path was undertaken only after analyzing the results of John Wick 4. However, what is strange is that, in any case, regardless of the investigations carried out on the film, its ending was not constructed in such a way as to guarantee a possible continuation of the film series, but with the sole purpose of closing the story of the character. An exception could be represented, of course, by using a new actor in the saga as the protagonist, using a previously employed star or involving a completely new star.
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A new protagonist?
In the first case, it would be easier to pull some characters out of the hat: in addition to John’s two faithful allies who remain alive after the conclusion of John Wick 4i.e. both the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) che Winston (Ian McShane), let’s not forget that the fate of Caine (Donnie Yen), hunted by Akira (Rina Sawayama) and also the good Mr. Nobody (Shamier Anderson) is on the loose. While it is possible that such figures are used for spin-off (serial and otherwise), the other possibility is to employ a new protagonist with the same director who recently told which actors he would like to work with, citing names such as Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr., Charlize Theron, Peter Dinklage, Sean Beans and many others. In both scenarios, though, call the movie John Wick 5 without this character it would be misleading, but also more logical, at least according to the information in our possession.
The resurrection of Baba Yaga
The most absurd and at the same time most valid hypothesis is precisely the one that predicts a return of Baba Yaga in John Wick 5: however forced this choice may appear, Keanu Reeves is the only one who can embody the role of the character, despite his death within John Wick 4 you seem final. Moreover, we are well aware that, in the world of entertainment, the disappearance of characters is a very malleable and fickle concept, consequently the writers could easily find an explanation for the survival of the killer after the tragic events in Paris. With even Keanu Reeves himself who had declared, even before the arrival of the fourth chapter in American theaters, that he would be willing to return if the public appreciated the film. In theory, now there is no excuse, considering that the 431 million dollars earned by the work represent the highest grossing of the saga. That said, there is yet another possible scenario that could be addressed which is, on balance, somewhere in between the two options we just looked at.
The legacy of John Wick
A particular and smart way to use the John Wick brand for the film anyway, without however the obligation to use Reeves as the protagonist, is to have a new protagonist converse with Wick himself, perhaps with sequences flashback or dreamlike, in such a way that a passing of the baton actually takes place between the two characters. An interesting possibility which, among other things, would be the least traumatic option for the public, who would thus gradually get used to John’s actual farewell, having the opportunity to see him for the last time (albeit in the form of a spirit, a vision or memory) in preparation then for the other projects of the universe. A ploy that, although not to be excluded a priori, seems inconsistent with the world action inaugurated by Derek Kolstad e Chad Stahelskiwhere action and fighting have always prevailed, with the concreteness and tangibility that have always won over sentimentality or possible supernatural tendencies.
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A chapter with nothing to say
Beyond all these theories about John Wick 5the most important thing to say about the film is that in any case, after seeing the fourth chapter, this sequel he may inevitably have little or nothing to say. Indeed, it is not fundamental whether the murderer played by Keanu Reeves is really dead or not since the entire film is set up as a real farewell to the character, with some storyline which remain deliberately hanging for possible future side projects. Therefore, any addition to this epilogue risks becoming a mere filler, an unnecessary extra that could ruin the brilliant conclusion designed for the character. Clearly it is still too early to imagine the perception and reception (public and critical) that the feature film could have, but we are certain that the franchise action has reached a point in its evolution that requires new challenges for the future and not a return to the past.