This article contains major spoilers for John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum.
At the end of John Wick 3, John himself is still alive, and is now in the care/custody of the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne), who has also survived the assassination attempt by the High Table. It appears that the Bowery King, who used to sort of work with the High Table, now wants vengeance against the organization. The potential implication is that he and John Wick are going to team up to bring down the High Table once and for all. Meanwhile, John’s former mentor Winston (Ian McShane) struck that deal to keep his power, so he could get caught in the crossfire of any kind of war. All of these characters are likely to come back, along with the Adjudicator (Asia Kate Dillion), Charon (Winston’s right-hand man, played by Lance Reddick), and maybe even Halle Berry’s Sofia–not to mention the Elder (the guy that John went to see in the desert).
When Den of Geek sat down with director Chad Stahelski during the John Wick 3 press tour, he told us that setting up a sequel wasn’t his intention. In fact, he wanted to kill off John Wick at the end of the film. With the franchise being a steady money maker for the studio with a cinematic and TV spinoff universe already in the works though, that fate seemed unlikely.
“That was the original intent of number three to kill John Wick,” Stahelski says. “That doesn’t gel with some people.”
He adds that for the beaten down and bleeding out John Wick, who survives Parabellum, there was no happy ending that made sense.
“He’s fucking hammered at the end. He’s tired, right? And I want you to feel a little tired. Imagine what he feels like. I wasn’t trying to overdo it. I wasn’t trying to be like, ‘He’s superhuman.’ I just want you to feel exhausted. Like this is what it’s like and this is the guy hanging on. What do you want him to fall in love again and he’s going to walk away? Would you believe any happy ending I gave you?”
Stahelski is mum on what the future of the franchise holds, but given the ending, that door is wide open.
“I’m not trying to set up for sequels,” he says.” “And that’s just how it is. Not quite episodic, not quite cliff-hanger. Honestly, as a director, I just don’t know a better way to end it. You kill the guy or you just make him sit through it. You won the race, but you still gotta train tomorrow.”