It's a common rule of thumb in the film industry. By the time most film franchises lumber forward toward the third chapter in a trilogy, they're usually out of gas and out of ideas.
But, "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum 3" may be the exception to the rule. Who would've thought you'd get that much mileage out of a dead dog?
In this third outing Wick is a man on the run with a $14 million bounty on his head for events that occurred in the preceding chapter.
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Director Chad Stahelski, who also directed both previous chapters in the franchise, said the John Wick saga still has several layers to unfold.
“In this chapter, John Wick goes to war with the world. This gives us a chance to go to new places, go deeper into his personal journey and expand the journeys of other characters," Stahelski said. "For this chapter, we really wanted each of the action sequences to bring a new and different flavor—each gives you a bit more insight and clues into the different elements of who John Wick is and the path he is on.”
Reeves says in this film he sees the character as battling himself as much as the assassins gunning for him.
“There’s a battle he’s becoming more conscious of in Parabellum, a battle between two sides of himself that I call John and John Wick,” Reeves says. “John is the guy who just wants to be left alone, who seeks a quiet life in which to remember his wife. In order to do that he has to engage the side of himself that is John Wick, the side that knows how to fight to the death. John Wick is the only one who can help John survive.”
The filmmakers wisely expand Wick's universe to include Halle Berry as Sofia, a mysterious fellow assassin who owes Wick a blood debt and as such is indebted to help him where others aren't.
Berry said she was a fan of the first two films and eager to join in for the third ride.
"I loved how real the action felt in the first movie," she says. "I looked forward to Chapter 2 as soon as I saw the first." When my manager told me that Chad was looking for a female assassin on par with John Wick, I knew I had to play the part. When I first met with Chad he had not yet finished writing my role, but I didn’t care, I said sign me up...I’ll do it!”
"John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum 3", which co-stars Larry Fishburn, Asia Kate Dillon, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick and Mark Dacascos, opens in theaters on May 17.