The JOHN WICK series has evolved from sleeper hit to summer tentpole for Lionsgate. The first film opened in October 2015, the second film opened in February 2017, and now we have a release date for the third installment. THR’s Borys Kit’s reports that JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 has been set for May 17, 2019.
That’s a pretty big jump for a film that started out as a tight action thriller. While I don’t expect the tone of the franchise to change drastically, getting a plum date right at the start of the summer movie season is a big show of confidence in the franchise from Lionsgate. Right now, there’s no competition on that date, but it comes two weeks after AVENGERS 4 and one week before ALADDIN and MINECRAFT.
Details on the sequel are still scarce, but when we spoke to JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 director Chad Stahleski, he said they hoped to start filming late this year or early next year. Additionally, he said he said he wanted to return to direct, but that wasn’t nailed down quite yet. As for where the sequel will go, Stahleski said they wanted to expand the mythology:
“We want, not so much to go bigger on the third one, but to show you more of the intricacies of the world…I feel like there are all these different subtleties that I skipped over in Number Two, that I’d like to go back to on [chapter three] and show you the inner workings of different parts of New York. So rather than massive set pieces, I’d like to show you cooler and more intricate ones…I think it would be a mistake budget wise and creatively to just go big and blow up a freeway. That’s not our gig. That’s a comic book or a Bond gig. We want to show you cool and intricate details. What are those little details in everyday life? Hopefully – we make people look at garbage collectors and cleaner vans and homeless people a little differently now.”
It’s very cool that the scrappy JOHN WICK franchise has gained so much heat, and it will be interesting to see if the upcoming installment will bring Wick’s story to a close or if it’s another entry in an ongoing series. Judging by the May release date, Lionsgate probably wants it to be the latter.