Empire (Australasia) - - PREVIEW - JOHN NU­GENT

When last we saw the world’s best-dressed as­sas­sin, in 2017’s John Wick: Chap­ter 2 , he had just been made ‘ex­com­mu­ni­cado’ by his crim­i­nal un­der­world su­pe­ri­ors, a $14 mil­lion bounty on his head. The third film in the se­ries picks up im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards, with Mr Wick (Keanu Reeves) on the run. It’s cur­rently film­ing, and slated for a May 2019 re­lease date.

This third en­try car­ries the cu­ri­ously grandiose ti­tle of John Wick 3: Para­bel­lum. That ap­par­ently comes from the Latin phrase, “Si vis pacem, para bel­lum,” which trans­lates as, “If you want peace, pre­pare for war.”

Chad Sta­hel­ski, who co-di­rected the first Wick and solo-di­rected the sec­ond, is back in the di­rec­tor’s chair to com­plete the tril­ogy. “The whole pur­pose of John Wick: Chap­ter 2 was to get us into John Wick 3,” Sta­hel­ski has said.

The world of the mys­te­ri­ous

High Table — the up­per coun­cil of in­ter­na­tional crime bosses — will be ex­plored fur­ther here. “I’d like to ex­pand the world maybe an­other 25 per cent,” Sta­hel­ski told Em­pire last year.

Keanu Reeves has teased a face­off be­tween the High Table and the Con­ti­nen­tal, the hit­man ho­tel headed by Win­ston (Ian Mcshane).

“Maybe John is the ac­ti­va­tor of this con­fronta­tion, and per­haps there’s a war?” Reeves told Em­pire in 2017. “Wouldn’t that be awe­some?”

Mcshane has been con­firmed to reprise his role as Win­ston, with Lance Red­dick and Lau­rence Fish­burne also re­turn­ing as Charon and The Bow­ery King, re­spec­tively.

New­com­ers to the cast in­clude Halle Berry as Sofia, a fig­ure from Wick’s past; An­jel­ica Hus­ton as The Di­rec­tor of the High Table; Bil­lions’ Asia Kate Dil­lon as The Ad­ju­di­ca­tor, and Ja­son Mant­zoukas as the pleas­ingly named Tick Tock Man. Mar­tial arts stars Yayan Ruhian and Ce­cep Arif Rah­man (The Raid 2) and Tiger Hu Chen (Man Of Tai Chi) are on as­sas­sin du­ties.

Keanu Reeves, known for do­ing his own stunts, was spot­ted gal­lop­ing on horse­back through the streets of Brook­lyn last month, be­ing chased by a ma­chine gun-wield­ing mo­tor­cy­clist. Dres­sage, this ain’t.

The events of the film will run par­al­lel to the in-de­vel­op­ment TV spin-off The Con­ti­nen­tal, due to air in 2019 on the Starz US net­work. “The show and the movies ex­ist side by side,” Starz pres­i­dent Chris Al­brecht has said.

Sta­hel­ski has sug­gested it’s not go­ing to end well: “How else can this end? There’s no happy end­ing! He’s go­ing to kill ev­ery­one!”

Yeah — we’re think­ing he’s back

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