John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum release date, trailer and more

Everything we know about the carnage-heavy third instalment of Keanu Reeves' hardcore hitman trilogy...

After the success of the surprise 2014 hit, John Wick, and its equally blood-soaked sequel, John Wick: Chapter 2 (both got good reviews and made a tidy profit at the box office), a third film was pretty much inevitable.

And so we have John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, which sees star Keanu Reeves back as the titular assassin, this time on an all-out survival mission after the bounty placed on his head at the end of Chapter 2.

The film’s subtitle means “prepare for war” in Latin, which should give you some idea of what to expect from the action-packed threequel. Here’s everything we know so far (we’ll keep this updated, so check back for the latest news)…

John Wick: Chapter 3 trailer

The film’s second trailer builds on the first, offering more footage of John’s assassin pal Sofia (Halle Berry) and her dogs, as well as that jaw-dropping swords-and-motorbikes chase sequence. It also features a proper look at main villain Zero (Mark Dacascos) and includes a lovely throwback to Reeves’ iconic Matrix line: “Guns…Lots of guns.” You can watch the latest trailer below…

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The film’s first trailer introduced us to the third round of carnage – including a spectacular-looking set-piece in which Wick takes on a gang of katana-wielding assassins while riding a horse. It also introduced us to Halle Berry’s Sofia and Anjelica Huston’s The Director. You can watch the trailer below…

John Wick: Chapter 3 poster

The film’s poster was revealed via its Twitter account and it’s a beaut, showing a rain-soaked Wick on the outside (looking in) of the Continental Hotel – the safe space for assassins that he was spectacularly barred from at the end of the second movie (hence the “Excommunicado” tagline). You can see the full poster – as well as a swanky “motion” version – below.

John Wick: Chapter 3 cast

Keanu Reeves is, unsurprisingly, reprising his role as the eponymous hitman. He’ll be joined by a few familiar faces from previous films: Ian McShane as Continental Hotel owner Winston, Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne as crime lord The Bowery King, and John Leguizamo as Wick’s best mate and mechanic, Aurelio. Common and Ruby Rose will also be returning as assassins Cassian and Ares, both of whom took on Wick in Chapter 2 and ultimately came out worse off.

Chapter 3 will introduce a few key new characters, too. Halle Berry is on board as Sofia (pictured below), an assassin friend of Wick’s and a fellow dog lover. “She has a past with John,” Reeves revealed to Entertainment Weekly. “I end up going to find her to see if she can help me.”

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Meanwhile, martial arts stalwart Mark Dacascos is on board as the film’s main villain, Zero. Empire has an exclusive pic of Zero in action:

“He’s a huge John Wick fan,” Dacascos says of his character, “so you’ll see an essence of, ‘I have to kill you, but you know if I didn’t have to do that, we’d be besties!’”

Hollywood royalty Anjelica Huston is also playing a mysterious character who’s “responsible for [Wick’s] upbringing and his protection”, according to director Chad Stahelski.

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McShane revealed to Rotten Tomatoes that there will be mega-high stakes for everyone after Wick was allowed to escape at the end of the second film

“Oh yeah, you know The High Table will be pissed off,” McShane said. “The High Table are very pissed off, and they’re very angry. It all shifts around. Talk about shifting alliances, it’s the same thing [as Deadwood, the movie sequel of which comes out later this year]”

John Wick: Chapter 3 plot

Parabellum takes place pretty much straight after the finale of Chapter 2, which ended with a huge bounty being placed on John’s head – and his exile from the Continental – after he killed ruthless mob boss Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) within the designated safe walls of the hotel for assassins. It wasn’t all bad, though – Continental owner and fatherly figure Winston (McShane) delayed the bounty by one hour to give John a “head start”.

The film’s official synopsis was revealed at industry event CinemaCon last year:

“John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is on the run for two reasons… he’s being hunted for a global $14 million open contract on his life, and for breaking a central rule: taking a life on Continental Hotel grounds. The victim was a member of the High Table who ordered the open contract. John should have already been executed, except the Continental’s manager, Winston, has given him a one-hour grace period before he’s ‘Excommunicado’ – membership revoked, banned from all services and cut off from other members. John uses the service industry to stay alive as he fights and kills his way out of New York City.”

Safe to say, that synopsis sets up an action-packed sequel that Stahelski has hinted will have a body count that “lands slightly north” of either of the previous films. There will be blood, indeed…

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Watch John Wick: Chapter Two on NOW TV

John Wick: Chapter 3 director

Chad Stahelski, who co-directed John Wick (with Deadpool 2’s David Leitch) and directed Chapter 2, is back at the helm of Parabellum. He’s no stranger to onscreen action – as a veteran stunt coordinator and co-founder (with Leitch, again) of “action design” company 87eleven, he’s worked on everything from 300 to The Hunger Games. He’s got history with Reeves, too – Stahelski was the stunt double for Neo in the Matrix movies.

With all this talk about action fatigue doing the rounds again, Stahelski is here to defend it, especially as part of a John Wick outing. 

“I want action fatigue,” he told Empire. “I want you to be done and go, ‘Ooof! I was on a ride!’ I want the colours to overwhelm you. I want the weirdness to immerse you. I want you to be Alice and go down that rabbit hole and be a little fucked-up for a minute in this kaleidoscope of aesthetically pleasing things.”

Well, quite.

John Wick: Chapter 3 release date

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum will hit UK cinemas on 17 May 2019.