John Wick – Parabellum – in cinemas May 16
“Si vis pacem, para bellum (If you want peace, prepare for war).”
From the propulsive start of John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum, the clock ticks relentlessly against the formerly retired super-assassin. The action picks up directly from Chapter 2 as John Wick finds himself on the brink of being declared excommunicado—stripped of the protective services of The High Table, the secretive global association of crime organizations that enforces the assassins’ code. With a $14 million bounty on his head, even John Wick has never faced so many simultaneous threats hellbent on ending his existence. Enemies are everywhere, but that will only drive Wick to the ends of the earth as he continues to seek a personal reckoning.
Five years ago, the premiere chapter of John Wick set a new bar for action films. In this hardboiled world of killers-for-hire, audiences worldwide experienced the rush of dazzlingly pure battle sequences, of which moved like a frenzied ballet, pushing practical filmmaking to its limits. Now, Chapter 3 expands the Wick universe, revealing more about the hidden operations of The High Table and introducing intriguing new characters.
Returning to the addictive hit franchise is Keanu Reeves as Wick, Laurence Fishburne as the powerful Bowery King, Ian McShane as the Continental Hotel’s imperious manager Winston, Lance Reddick as Charon, The Continental’s helpful concierge, and Tobias Segal as Earl, a Bowery informant.
Joining the growing character roster is Halle Berry as Sofia, Anjelica Huston as The Director, Asia Kate Dillon as The Adjudicator, Mark Dacascos as Zero, Jerome Flynn as Berrada, Jason Mantzoukas as the Tick Tock Man, Saïd Taghmaoui as The Elder and Boban Marjanovic as Ernest.
Stahelski sums up where things stand as the story takes off with unrelenting momentum: “In this chapter, John Wick goes to war with the world. This gives us a chance to go to new places, go deeper into his personal journey and expand the journeys of other characters. For this chapter, we really wanted each of the action sequences to bring a new and different flavor—each gives you a bit more insight and clues into the different elements of who John Wick is and the path he is on.”
The emotional stakes mount with the physical challenges as Wick is forced to call in debts and rely on the deadly gifts from which he wants to escape. “He is still looking for absolution—but meanwhile, nearly everyone is trying to kill him, so he must revert back to someone he doesn’t want to be in order to survive,” says Stahelski.
As the film’s ever-expanding canvas takes audiences deeper into John Wick’s origins, the story demands an even more technically evolved Wick. For Reeves, the film was flat out the biggest physical test of his career. “The vision for this film was so ambitious that I went into serious training four months before,” Reeves says. “There are so many different kinds of action sequences—not only more styles of martial arts and more gunplay, but also motorcycles, horses and dogs, so the training was intense. But honestly, I love it. I love this character and I love the John Wick universe we’ve created.”
For Halle Berry, who originates the new character Sofia, the experience was like no other. “I’ve done action before, but wow, there’s nothing like this,” she says. “I’ve never trained this hard. I’ve never worked in the way that Chad and Keanu work and I’ve certainly never had 12 guys coming for me all at once! It was tough, it was amazing, and I love that my character Sofia also brings some real heart and soul to the story as someone from John Wick’s past who knows the costs of doing what he does.”