The John Wick universe is expanding, with a possible anime on the legendary hitman and a new live-action TV show in the pipeline. The TV show is expected to explore key characters other than Wick in the action franchise.
The announcement was made by Chad Stahelski, who directed all the four films released to date, in an upcoming episode of The Discourse podcast.
The news comes a couple of months after the premiere of the three-part The Continental — a prequel series that explores the life of Winston Scott and how he became the proprietor of the New York branch of The Continental chain of hotels.
With Keanu Reeves as John Wick, the franchise began with the first film in 2014. It was followed by John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017), John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019), and John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023). Each film has been more successful commercially and critically than its predecessor.
The cinematic side will be expanded further with Ballerina, a movie set between the third and the fourth John Wick film about a ballerina played by Ana de Armas out for revenge.
All about the John Wick anime and new TV show
Anime could be a series
According to The Playlist, which revealed what Stahelski said on The Discourse, the director didn’t make it explicitly clear if the anime project is a standalone film or a TV series. The Playlist noted that it could be the latter.
“So we’re really looking forward to that; we’re really excited about it because we’re doing that and a Japanese anime because I love Japanese anime so much,” the director said commenting on the project.
“So to create all the cool stories that anime could achieve better than we could and the TV show to expand our world, we’ll still get our fix, you know what I mean? And we’ll still have all the fun,” added the filmmaker.
“Cause I think, for TV especially, world-building and action, those two have stayed pretty separate,” he explained. “But to try and combine them and give fans [both]? Look, I love the [TV] slow-burn too, but after six episodes, I would like something to happen in my TV shows, you know? So, to try and bring that to TV, what we do with features would be really exciting,” Stahelski underlined.
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Focus of new live-action TV series will be on the High Table
Stahelski said that the new live-action TV show will be different from The Continental, which he executive produced but was not involved as a director.
He indicated that the new series will be about the High Table — the extremely powerful but mysterious mafia high command whose path John Wick crossed and went on a killing spree to keep himself safe.
“Lionsgate is having us develop the John Wick TV show, so we thought we could explore The High Table in that a little bit,” he said.
“We’re never going to show the whole High Table; we’ll show the representatives, but we’ll always keep some of that [mystery],” he said.
Speaking about characters, Stahelski said that the focus of the TV show could be on the characters played by Donnie Yen, Rina Sawayama and Shamier Anderson in the fourth film.
“Yeah, I love Donnie, I love Rina, love the Tracker, and the TV show and the ancillaries will give us a chance to expand the kind of fun world we’ve created, and it doesn’t have to be John Wick, the character specific, you know what I mean so that we can explore all that stuff,” Stahelski said.
Yen essayed the blind High Table assassin Caine. Sawayama portrayed Shimazu Akira, the daughter of Osaka Continental Hotel manager Shimazu Koji (played by Hiroyuki Sanada). Anderson played the bounty hunter named the Tracker.
(Hero image: Murray Close/Lionsgate/Murray Close/Lionsgate – © 2021 Lionsgate/IMDb; Featured image: IMDb)