John Wick 5 Is Even More Likely After Disappointing Ana De Armas Spinoff Update

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An update to the John Wick spinoff starring Ana de Armas, Ballerina, proves that John Wick 5 with Keanu Reeves is more likely than ever.

John Wick 5 creeps another step closer to reality following the latest update regarding Ana de Armas’ Ballerina spinoff. After a quartet of critically adored box office smashes, the John Wick franchise finds itself in a strange period of uncertainty. John Wick: Chapter 4’s ending seemingly concluded Keanu Reeves’ story by showing the titular protagonist’s death, and conflicting statements over a potential John Wick 5 have muddied the waters further. All signs point toward Lionsgate steaming ahead with John Wick 5, but director Chad Stahelski has shown more reserve, remaining open to John Wick 5 only if he and Reeves find a worthwhile story.

Paloma (Ana de Armas) with guns in both hands pointed at an off-screen enemy in No Time to Die.

Adding another layer of complexity to the situation, John Wick is in the midst of a franchise expansion, attempting to broaden beyond Keanu Reeves. Abysmal reaction to The Continental – a TV prequel starring Colin Woodell as a younger Winston – represented a bad start, but the train was already in motion thanks to the in-production Ana de Armas-fronted Ballerina. Centered on the Ruska Roma syndicate that trained Wick, Ballerina has now been delayed by an entire year from June 7, 2024, to June 6, 2025. As a consequence, John Wick 5 has become far more likely.

According to the report, the biggest motivating factor behind Ballerina’s delay was the need for additional action sequences. If true, Lionsgate evidently deemed the spinoff to be lacking in the one department for which John Wick movies are most famous. The upcoming reshoots are designed to make Ballerina more like John Wick, and that makes sense given how well Chad Stahelski’s formula has served the franchise until now. Lionsgate’s thinking also underlines its desire for more movies in the John Wick mold, which in turn makes a fifth installment of the main series inevitable.

Rather than allowing Ballerina to have its own flavor and steer away from the tone that Keanu Reeves used for four straight movies, Lionsgate is looking to have Ana de Armas visit the same creative well. That isn’t especially surprising after John Wick: Chapter 4’s $440 million box office haul (via BoxOfficeMojo) and 94% score on Rotten Tomatoes, but the desire to bring Ballerina in-line with past releases suggests it is only a matter of time before Lionsgate focuses on an actual John Wick movie instead of trying to make a spinoff feel more like a John Wick movie.

John Wick (Keanu Reeves) reloading a pistol next to a horse in John Wick: Chapter 4

While Ballerina’s delay does make John Wick 5 more likely, it also pushes back any potential John Wick 5 release date. Previously, John Wick movies have released every three years on average, and Lionsgate’s Joe Drake has confirmed that the John Wick 5 writing process started following the end of Hollywood’s writers’ strike. As the franchise’s first theatrical spinoff, however, the addition of Ballerina to the slate, followed by its subsequent delay, has thrown up obstacles.

Ballerina getting pushed back to 2025 means it will land a little over two years after John Wick: Chapter 4. If Ana de Armas’ spinoff is considered the fifth entry in the John Wick franchise – even if it isn’t John Wick 5 – then the actual John Wick 5 should premiere two to three years after that, meaning late 2027 at the earliest, but more realistically early-mid 2028. That is, of course, assuming further projects don’t overtake it. “Multiple spinoffs” are in development according to Lionsgate, so while John Wick 5 would be the next logical release, it may get bumped in favor of another side story.

Chad Stahelski has expressed his belief that Keanu Reeves would star in John Wick 5 if the right story presented itself, but John Wick’s death in John Wick: Chapter 4 poses something of a problem. Wick’s demise was not exactly ambiguous. After fighting his way up a near-endless flight of steps, Wick took one final bullet from Caine, sacrificing himself for an opportunity to execute the evil Marquis. A bloody John then slumped to the ground, at which point John Wick: Chapter 4 immediately cut to his graveside, not leaving an awful lot of wiggle room for a shocking survival.

Keanu Reeves leaning against a pillar and pointing a gun in John Wick: Chapter 4.

Nevertheless, the Baba Yaga did not endure any explicitly fatal injuries in John Wick: Chapter 4’s finale. According to the well-established and completely imaginary rule book of Hollywood action movies, anything less than a shot to the head or heart can be survived, and John Wick received neither. One might question why John would go to the trouble of faking his death with a mock grave, especially after being pardoned by the High Table, but this ruse may have been designed to prevent the Marquis’ allies seeking revenge.

Looking at the franchise’s wider narrative, there is still more work for John Wick to do. The true culmination of his story would surely be waging war against all members of the High Table, working with Winston and the Bowery King to fully wipe out the organization that caused him so much misery. As long as the High Table remains standing, John Wick 5 has a story to tell.

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