John Wick 5 with Keanu Reeves is on the horizon, but spinoff movies set in the John Wick Universe might be more exciting than resurrecting Baba Yaga.
- John Wick spinoffs, like Ballerina, offer an opportunity to expand the world-building and characters of the franchise, which sets it apart from other action franchises.
- The world-building in John Wick films has created exciting spinoff opportunities for other characters, allowing for deeper exploration and a more authentic feel to the universe.
- John Wick 5 will change the ending of John Wick 4, but spinoffs can build on the reveal of John Wick’s survival and explore its impact on the world of contract killers, strengthening the franchise if done thoughtfully.
Studios have confirmed John Wick spinoffs are in development that could potentially be more exciting than John Wick 5, whose sript is actively being written. After John Wick: Chapter 4 became the most successful of all the John Wick films, it was only a matter of time before Lionsgate decided to entreat Keanu Reeves to appear in another installment. However, news of other John Wick spinoffs hot on the heels of hit series like The Continental, which explored the origins of the franchise’s elite assassin hotel, might be the real thing that keeps the franchise fresh and exciting.
Without knowing how the script will handle the return of Keanu Reeves, Ballerina is the next exciting John Wick spinoff. The action film, expected in 2024, will star Ana de Armas as a young assassin who trains in the same elite academy as John Wick under the watchful eye of the Ruska Roma clan. It will fill in some gaps in the John Wick timeline, as well as provide an opportunity to expand the world-building and characters of the John Wick franchise, which is, admittedly, the unique elements that help it stand out from other action franchises of its ilk.
John Wick’s Worldbuilding Has Already Set Up Exciting Spinoff Opportunities
The world building that occurs with each subsequent John Wick film has set up plenty of exciting spinoff opportunities for other characters, some of whom aren’t even assassins. Halle Berry’s Sofia, Caine, and Akira could all get their own movie or series, or even a story about how the Bowery King takes over after the events of The Continental. Even characters like Charlie, who had a few minutes of screen time in the first John Wick got more flesh out in The Continental and helped the John Wick Universe feel more lived-in and authentic.
Ballerina has the opportunity to examine the inner-workings of the Ruska Roma clan as well as show what happened between John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and John Wick: Chapter 4. If it’s successful, it will prove that fans are willing to revisit the world of John Wick even if Baba Yaga has a limited role. From the way high-powered assassin guilds interact, to the social strata of their hiearchies, to the way they operate under the HIgh Table and rebel against its jurisdiction, there are so many things about the world John Wick inhabits that make the franchise more interesting than just focusing on him.
John Wick 5 Will Change John Wick 4’s Ending, But Spinoffs Can Improve It
John Wick 5 will confirm that John Wick is actually alive, thereby completely changing the ending to John Wick: Chapter 4. One way the emotional effectiveness of the fourth film won’t be in vain is if spinoffs build on the reveal that John Wick survived, and show how it affected the parallel world of shadowy contract killers. A void was left when John Wick was thought dead, possibly creating an opportunity for another assassin to take up his mantle, and it would be interesting to see if anyone was inspired by him to resist the High Table and create another authoritative body.
Baba Yaga’s reputation was terrifying and viscerally experienced by everyone in his world, so it only makes sense that coming back from the dead would add to his legend. Having John Wick’s resurrection ripple through other spinoff films or series would strengthen the John Wick franchise and make the decision to bring Wick back seem intentional. Otherwise, if enough care and effort isn’t taken to make the choice seem thought-out, bringing Keanu Reeves back for John Wick 5 could just come across as a soulless cash grab that ends up doing the franchise more harm than good.