Of John Wick: Chapter 4 this week’s general cultural conversation, dominating the box office, has largely turned into a single question: “Is John Wick dead?” The film purposely fails to answer that question, with writers Michael Finch and Shay Hatten telling Polygon that viewers are meant to interpret John Wick 4‘s finale as they want.
Releasing studio Lionsgate has already given John Wick: Chapter 5 green light for production, and Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake recently told Deadline the studio is “not ready to say goodbye to Keanu with this franchise.” Given its success, there will probably be one John Wick 5but series director Chad Stahelski tells Polygon he’s not ready to commit to it as his next project – and that, in fact, he hasn’t confirmed what his next project will be.
Stahelski currently has a whopping 11 different projects listed on IMDb.com as “in development” or “in pre-production”. classifiedfor example, is a thriller built around a vault of secret relics, similar to the one at the end of Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. New Line Cinema won an auction for that film in 2021, with Stahelski set to produce and direct under his direction 87Eleven Entertainment banner. He has also signed on to a TV series called vice city, produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, and envisioned as a gritty 1980s heist drama set in Miami in the wake of the Iran-Contra scandal. (It is not affiliated with Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.) And then there’s a planned reboot of the Highlander movie franchise billed as former Superman Henry Cavill.
However, what is Stahelski most actively working on at the moment? None of the above, he tells Polygon – he’s still from there John Wick 4 and waiting to see which of his planned projects actually come together.
“Hollywood has this magic algorithm: cast availability, my availability, crew availability,” he says. “Is the script ready? Is the budget fixed? Do we have locations? There are all kinds of things involved (bringing a project into production). That’s why you read that so often, about directors (who are making several films). It’s not like we have five choices all ready to go. A lot of things have to come into play to make a movie – you’d be surprised how many.
However, he has some preferences in terms of what he would like to see move up the priority list. “I can tell you the things (on my roll) that I love the most,” he says. “I am very proud to be attached to Michael B. Jordan’s Rainbow Six. I couldn’t be happier Ghost of Tsushima, which is by far one of my favorite properties on the list – a chance to make a Ridley Scott gladiator version of a samurai movie, with the aesthetics and look I love to do. It would be quite impressive to build that world.
“Of course we are still attached to the Highlander world. And with Netflix, we have that Black samurai, which is a great sci-fi series that we’re trying to get going. And that is what is at the top of my list.”
Stahelski says part of the reason he hasn’t started work on his next movie or show yet is that he prefers to stick with one project at a time. “To be honest, I stay very, very focused,” he says. “I wish I was more of a multitasker. I’m not like other directors who have like 10 things going on. I tried to get John Wick: Chapter 4 out the door, make the best of it and then clear the psychological and intellectual palette a bit. And then we jump in.”
That said, with John Wick 4 in theaters, he expects to get one of these projects up and running soon. “My team has been working on all of these things at the same time. Now with Wick out of the way, I can focus, and I’ll see which one I can get going. I mean, I like working. I would like to shoot this year. So it’s going to be the one I can get on track first.