Everything we know so far about John Wick 3: Parabellum

The third and final chapter in the John Wick trilogy will bring the former assassin back for more thrills and even more violence.

John Wick, the franchise nobody saw coming, literally took the world by storm when it was released in 2014. An action thriller about a retired assassin coming out of retirement to kill the people who killed his dog, it formed a cult following in a matter of seconds and started a new age of stylized action films.

The first film was developed under the radar and was released without much advertising, sneaking up on moviegoers in a very trained killer kind of way. They might as well have dropped a tiny bomb on the world.

John Wick became the talk of 2014 and Keanu Reeves’s comeback movie. The stylized combat sequences stunned audiences, making shootouts, and choreographed murders look like a blood pumping dance sequence in a rap/rock n’ roll music video.

The sequel, John Wick: Chapter 2, released in 2017, made the list of rare sequels that did better than the original. Chapter 2 built on the story from Chapter 1, expanding the assassin universe instead of recycling the same plot over again.

Rather than just focusing on Wick and other revenge motivated killers, the film dived into the political and international world of contract killers and other underground societies, as well as doing the usual sequel things like amping up the violence and adding twice the amount of action. Like a Mafia movie, if the “wise guys” we’re from a crossover universe made of the Kingsmen and The Matrix. 

The sequel received better reviews than number one and grossed  $171.5 million at the box office, doubling its former’s profit. The success influenced a video game and green-lit the okay for a spin-off tilted Ballerina. A TV series based on The Continental, the hotel that serves as neutral ground for assassins, is also in the works from STARZ.

A third film was pretty much guaranteed and is likely to be the last. Director of the first two films, Chad Stahelski, and Derek Kolstad who wrote the original two scripts are both returning for number three, and they’re promising the highest body count yet. Wick killed 84 people in the first film, and 128 people in the second; number three is probably going to have 300 dead bodies lying around.

In an interview with Independent, Stahelski said that they’ll be exploring even more aspects of John Wick’s secretive society this time.

“We are going to put in something about the High Table, how that all works. 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.”

The High Table are those who oversee the organization of assassin’s that John Wick has been banished from. His banishment is a result of what happened in Chapter 2, when he killed a fellow assassin on neutral grounds, thereby breaking their law. Ian McShane will return as Winston, a member of the High Table, who gave Wick a five-minute head start before announcing a global kill order on him with a $14 million bounty.

John Wick

Photo credit: Lionsgate

The third film will take place directly after Chapter 2 but will be structured like an origin story. As John becomes a fugitive from The High Table, bits and pieces of his backstory will be told in a very “circle of life” format, telling the beginning as the end comes near. We’re going to see how Wick fell into the career of being a hitman as he takes them down.

To dismember the High Table, John will turn to Sofia (Halle Berry), a fellow assassin he has history with. Most likely romantic history, which will ensure tension. The two will take down The High Table, one dead body at a time.

Similar to how John’s dog was symbolic towards his dead wife, Sofia has two Belgian Malinols that are symbolic towards someone in her life, and apparently because everything in John Wick has the skills to kill, the dogs are also killer dogs.

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Stahelski told Entertainment Weekley that Sofia’s “canine assistants” will be involved in some action scenes. Assassin dogs. Now all we need are some ninja cats and we can get a Cats & Dogs remake.

In the EW interview, Stahelski also mentioned the Hollywood legend joining the cast, Anjelica Huston, who is playing the ominous Director, a motherly type figure from Wick’s past.

“Someone who was responsible for [Wick’s] upbringing and his protection. “

Reeves described her and her role further when talking to Empire Magazine.

 “We’re trying to make it that there are different tribes, less nondescript assassins,” Reeves said. “Anjelica Huston is playing this Roma Ruska character.”

The alternative title of the film, Parabellum, is Latin for “prepare for war”. It comes from the phrase, “Si vis pacem, para bellum”, meaning “if you want peace, prepare for war”. It’s also the proprietary name for a type of automatic firearm. Perfect title for a (maybe) final John Wick movie. Want out of the business? You’re going to have to fight for it.

Alongside Ian McShane are other members of the original cast, including Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King, Lance Reddick as the concierge at the hotel and Ruby Rose as the mute assassin Ares. The avenging bodyguard of Gianna D’Antonio, Cassian (Common) will not return to follow up on his promise to kill John, so everyone hoping for another John/Cassian battle can forget that dream right now.

Mark Dacascos and Jason Mantzoukas have joined the cast as Zero and Tick Tock Man, two assassins with unidentified roles. Judging by their inhuman names, harsh without individualism, they’re probably two of the many assassins gunning after John to collect his large bounty. They sound like disposable characters created for momentary fright.

Things definitely seem to get crazy judging by the set photos, including one that shows John fleeing some motorcycle bound killers on horseback. Imagine seeing that on the freeway.

There’s also a photo of John and Sofia in the desert, her two canine assistants armored in vests beside them. Clearly, they make it out of New York but they hardly look relaxed. More like Osiris and Nephthys, Lord of the Underworld and the Goddess of Death, coming to collect. By the way, in Egyptian myth, the Jackal God Anubis is often referred to as the son of Osiris and Nephthys, and those two dogs between John and Sofia resemble jackals rather conveniently.

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What do you hope to see in John Wick: Chapter 3? Should this be the end of thes tory? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

John Wick: Chapter 3 (Parabellum) will be released May 17, 2019