A World of Assassins: The Expanding John Wick Universe

Over the course of two films and a handful of other media, the world of John Wick has expanded from a small but intriguing action movie, into a pretty remarkable example of franchise worldbuilding.

This page will track the John Wick storytelling universe as it progresses, including both past and future projects. If you see any mistakes or omissions, or have any feedback on how to make this page more useful, please feel free to get in touch via Twitter, @RyanMatsu.

 

John Wick

Our introduction to the world of John Wick is a pretty straightforward revenge tale. The titular assassin, long since retired, is brought back into his old life after Russian gangsters kill his dog and steal his car. On the fringes of this story are the fascinating bits of worldbuilding that the series has become known for: the Winston and the New York Continental Hotel, the gold coins assassins use as currency. The conclusion of this first chapter sees Wick killing Viggo Tarasov, the head of the Tarasov criminal syndicate.

John Wick: Chapter 2

The second film picks up just four days after the first, with Wick tracking down his stolen car to a building run by Viggo’s brother, Abram Tarasov. Wick recovers his car, and makes peace with the Tarasov syndicate. His return to retirement doesn’t last long however, and he’s quickly pulled back into the action when Santino D’Antonio calls in his “Marker,” a medallion symbolizing a blood oath that Wick made to fulfill any service the holder asks.

Wick is tasked with assassinating Santino’s sister, in order to gain him her seat at the High Table, the ruling council of international crime lords. He succeeds, before turning his attention to Santino himself, eventually killing him on Continental grounds; a decision that costs Wick his membership in the assassin society. Facing exile, Wick flees New York as an open $14 million bounty comes down on his head.

Chapter 2 expands the world of John Wick in some big ways. Not only does it introduce the concept of the High Table (and several of the competing factions that comprise it), it really sells the scale of the operation, with several dozen major and minor assassins featured.

We also get to see a second Continental hotel in Italy, as well as the facilities it provides to its members, setting up the upcoming TV series outlined below.

John Wick Comic Book Series

A John Wick comic book series is currently being published by Dynamite. There are four issues out now, with a fifth and final one on its way at the end of January. The storyline centers around a much younger Wick’s first dealings with the Continental, and his introduction to the world of assassins.

John Wick Chronicles

This VR game (available on the HTC Vive) features a standalone storyline set before the events of the first film, with John Wick hunting down a target named Ethan Powell.

Upcoming Stories

John Wick: Chapter 3

The third chapter in the core storyline is expected to arrive in 2019. Keanu Reeves will of course be returning as the title character, and it’s currently rumored (but far from confirmed) that Cassian (Common), the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne), and Ares (Ruby Rose) will be featured in some capacity. Hiroyuki Sanada, who played Shingen Yashida in The Wolverine, has also been cast.

Chad Stahelski, director on both of previous installments, will be returning to direct, alongside Derek Kolstad once again writing the script.  It’s currently being targeted for a tentative May 17, 2019 release date.

The Continental

The John Wick franchise will be making its way to TV in the relatively near future with The Continental. The series has been given the greenlight at Starz, and will feature a story surrounding “the inner-workings of the exclusive Continental Hotel, which serves as a refuge for assassins.”

John Wick himself will appear in some capacity, but the lead character will reportedly be a new addition, someone who has just recently joined the world of assassins. Additionally, the series will take place in Los Angeles, bringing a new Continental hotel into the mix.

Chris Collins (Sons of Anarchy) has been hired as the showrunner, with Chad Stahelski directing the pilot.

Ballerina

In July 2017, Lionsgate revealed their plans to expand the world of John Wick through spin-off films, purchasing a script titled Ballerina with plans to retrofit it into the existing franchise. There’s no firm details on what it is about, though it apparently centers around a child assassin of some kind.

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