JOHN WICK 3 Director Chad Stahelski Teases John's Fate & Breaks Down That Big Final Twist - EXCLUSIVE
With the arrival of John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum on 4K Ultra HD today, we recently sat down with director Chad Stahelski to discuss John Wick's ultimate fate as well as the film's big betrayal.
Fortunately, he did survive the fall, thanks in no small part to a timely assist from the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) and Tick Tock Man (Jason Mantzoukas), and the closing moments set the stage for an even more action-packed Chapter 4 as John and his newfound underground allies take aim at the High Table, going back to John's revenge-seeking roots from the first film.
With Parabellum officially becoming the highest-grossing John Wick film ever, the franchise likely won't be slowing down anytime soon, but it's still fair to wonder where John's journey will ultimately end. After talking to director Chad Stahelski, it seems abundantly clear that while our hero may eventually find some semblance of peace, his story isn't likely to end with him just walking away cleanly.
In our lengthy conversation, Stahelski also broke down the ending's shocking twist and how there may have been more to those pair of betrayals than initially met the eye.
ROHAN: I guess it didn’t really dawn on me until I heard you say this in another interview, but John really is f*cked. The only way this story ultimately ends is with his death, but then again, that doesn’t necessarily have to happen in Chapter 4 or in a Chapter 5 or in the film after that, and so on.
When did you come to that realization about his fate?
CHAD STAHELSKI: Just take a moment and consider life. I mean, we all die, and, you know, karma is - I mean, what do you think is going to happen? Is there any way really out? We just try to do the best with the time we have.
I know a lot of professional soldiers, I know professional law enforcement, I know professional military and that is a lifestyle that you choose, but when you're in it, there are certain outcomes that are more probable. When you're a bad guy, an assassin, and you did bad things, bad things will happen to you because you're in bad environments. And just think about it. I mean, it's in life - you may have a really good day, you get a great promotion tomorrow, right? And you live it up, you have a good time and then, the next day, your dog gets hit by a car. Life is up and downs.
I love the Asian storytelling practice of tragedies, Italian opera, a lot of Asian cinema is built on tragedy and a tragedy doesn't necessarily mean it's sad or can't be fun or it can't be action or it can't be happy in some ways, it's just when you end the timeline of the movie, people would consider it like everybody dies. Rogue One or something like that. Shane, Shane is a great example. Whether you think Shane died or not? Or Man on Fire, Tony Scott's movie - is that a tragedy? Well, it could be or it could be a happy ending because the girl lives and he gave his life in sacrifice. So, if you consider self-sacrifice a tragedy, I prefer that, and in John Wick’s mode, yes, in every movie, he's giving a piece of himself to find hope, to keep love alive, however you want to look at it.
At the end of the day, you may have a really good day, then, you may have a really shitty day the next day, and after everything John Wick’s done, this has been a really bad week for him, obviously, with all three films, but where do you expect that to end? It’s just, again, it's not how you live, it’s how you die, which is kind of the code of the samurai, which is a big mythos in our in our thematics of John Wick. It's not just how you live, it's how you choose to die and that's really all that John has left. I like those kind of thematics. I don’t think they’re tragic, I just think it’s more the samurai or Bushido code of the warrior.
ROHAN: The film ends with a big twist as Winston betrays John, shoots him and sends him falling to his apparent death. While I get that betrayal, I think I was more surprised by Charon betraying John as well, after we’d somewhat been led to believe they were friends to some extent.
CHAD: Well, again, take your head, your mind, out of your perspective of traditional Hollywood movies. Okay?
Charon stands up for John and doesn’t do what he did, How does the movie end? You have an insurmounable force against you. You are in a hotel that’s basically an island, amongst a sea of enemies. You stand up, you stand by your friend and you stand up.
ROHAN: You both die.
CHAD: Yeah, you both die.
So, what would you rather do? Go with the 10% chance that everybody lives or the 0% chance that everybody lives. Come up with another way out of that situation? I dare you.
ROHAN: I got nothing.
CHAD: Okay, so, in a zero plus gain, what do you do?
ROHAN: You go with the winning hand.
CHAD: Exactly, throw the Hail Mary. So, if you really think about it, rather than end on a happy note, there's no Iron Man, there’s no Thor, there’s no Hulk, there’s no magic stone that's going to get you out of it, so that's life.
It’s a chess game and he took the best move possible, secured himself and remained in position and still, at the end of the day, there was a chance John Wick survived. Winston knew that, Charon knew there was no other way and if there was a chance, they were willing to take it.
So, in anything, it is the highest gift of friendship because they did the strengh. There's a Japanese saying that goes “who does the hard things” and it's simply, the answer is, “those who can.” Winston made the hardest choice possible, the best decision available. If you look at it another way, it was the best act of friendship you could do. It was the only hope of survival and they did the hard thing, rather sit back and stand up and do nothing and be obliterated. They made the hard choice.
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum is now available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD - click any of the covers below to order a copy for yourself today!
In this third installment of the adrenaline-fueled action franchise, super-assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) returns with a $14 million price tag on his head and an army of bounty-hunting killers on his trail. After killing a member of the shadowy international assassin’s guild, the High Table, John Wick is excommunicado, but the world’s most ruthless hit men and women await his every turn.
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum features:
Director: Chad Stahelski
Keanu Reeves as John Wick
Halle Berry as Sofia
Laurence Fishburne as The Bowery King
Mark Dacascos as Zero
Asia Kate Dillon as The Adjudicator
Lance Reddick as Charon
Anjelica Huston as The Director
Ian McShane as Winston
Saïd Taghmaoui as The Elder
Jason Mantzoukas as Tick Tock Man
Robin Lord Taylor as The Administrator
Jerome Flynn as Berrada
Tobias Segal as Earl
Boban Marjanović as Ernest
Arjon Bashiri as an assassin
Yayan Ruhian as an assassin
Cecep Arif Rahman as an assassin
Tiger Hu Chen as an assassin
Vladimir Mihailov as an assassin
Vlado Mihailov as an assassin
Danish Bhatt as an assassin
Candace M. Smith as an assassin
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum hits Digital HD on August 23
and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on September 10
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