John Wick’s Father-In-Law Theory Addressed By Director

John Wick director Chad Stahelski addresses a popular fan theory about the major franchise character who could be Wick’s father-in-law.

Keanu Reeves as John Wick hovering over his dying wife as she lies in a hospital bed


  • Director Chad Stahelski finds the theory that Winston is John Wick’s father-in-law clever and cool, hinting that it could potentially be true.
  • The theory is supported by the presence of Wick’s 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429, which was driven by Winston in The Continental prequel series.
  • While Stahelski did not initially intend for this connection, he is open to the possibility of exploring the father-in-law theory in future John Wick movies.

John Wick director Chad Stahelski addresses a popular fan theory about Wick’s father-in-law. Introduced in the very first film in the action-packed Keanu Reeves-led franchise, Ian McShane’s Winston becomes a key character throughout the series, and in fact is the man with the strongest connection to the enigmatic Wick. But certain clues sprinkled throughout the movies have convinced some that the connection between Winston and Wick goes beyond mere friendship, leading to a theory positing that McShane’s character is the father-in-law of Reeves.’

Whether Winston and John are more deeply connected than it seems is not something John Wick series director Stahelski is willing to defiitively answer, but he is at least aware of the father-in-law theory, and thinks it’s a good one. Speaking to Collider, Stahelski addressed the theory, and teased that it could prove to be true down the road. Check out what he said in the space below:

Yeah. No, that’s a pretty common one, actually. I get that a lot. Did it come full circle that Helen was Winston’s daughter? Look, that’s a pretty good– That’s not where we had initially thought, but could it go there? Yeah, I think that’s pretty clever. I think it’s cool. I think there is a familiar relationship there for sure.

Why Fans Think Winston Might Be John Wick’s Father-in-Law

Keanu Reeves in the poster for John Wick: Chapter 3 next to Winston from John Wick 3 and The Continental

At the center of fans’ John Wick father-in-law theory is Wick’s 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 (featured in the first two films). In the first movie, it’s revealed that Wick received the car as a gift from his late wife Helen after she convinced him to retire from being an assassin. The story’s tale of bloody revenge is later touched off when gangsters steal the car and kill Wick’s dog Daisy (who was also a gift from his beloved wife).

When a car that looks exactly like Wick’s 1969 Mustang appeared in the recent John Wick prequel series The Continental, being driven by that show’s younger version of Winston, theories arose that the car had been passed down from Winston to his daughter Helen, who then gave it to John. Adding further fuel to the father-in-law theory is a single moment from the end of John Wick: Chapter 4, in which Winston visits Wick’s grave, and utters the line “Farewell, my son.

It’s possible, of course, that the Mustang featured in The Continental is not the same car Helen gave John, but it just happens that people in the John Wick universe like Mustangs. It’s also possible that Winston said “Farewell, my son” over John’s grave not because they were actually related, but because Winston had come to think of John as a son over the years. Stahelski, for his part, seems intrigued by this particular game of connect-the-dots, and has left the door open that future John Wick movies could confirm the father-in-law theory’s veracity (though he admits it was not intended to go this way in the beginning).

In The Continental, Winston gets his Mustang from Uncle Charlie, the character who would later help John Wick clean up after killing Viggo’s men.

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