The same day as Keanu Reeves’ latest movie, The Matrix: Resurrections, hit theaters and HBO Max (Wednesday, December 22), it was announced that his next movie, John Wick: Chapter 4, has been delayed almost an entire year, shifting its release date from May 27, 2022, all the way until March 24, 2023. The movie gods giveth and the movie gods taketh away. Pain.
According to reports from Deadline, the reason for the delay is two-fold: the first being that further production is required, but the second, and frankly, more absurd reason, is that Lionsgate is trying to avoid having the film compete with Top Gun: Maverick, which is set to hit theaters on May 27, 2022.
Now, listen, I understand that Top Gun is a cult classic and that Tom Cruise remains a box office force, but at this stage of pop culture history, I believe Keanu Reeves and the John Wick franchise are the bigger draw, which is an intuition that’s been backed up by some data shared by Deadline:
In six month long-lead tracking obtained by Deadline dated Dec. 3, John Wick: Chapter 4 was besting Top Gun: Maverick by 90% in overall first choice, this despite the fact that there’s been zero marketing dropped for the fourthquel (not counting today’s teaser) and Paramount has had extensive promotions on the Tom Cruise sequel out there for close to two years. [via Deadline]
Even if they were trying to avoid Top Gun: Maverick, that still doesn’t explain pushing the film back for an entire year, so you’ve got to assume that the delay is more production-related than anything else.
At this time, the John Wick: Chapter Four (reportedly subtitled Hagakure) is scheduled to hit theaters on March 24, 2023. In addition to Reeves, the film stars Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgard, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, Scott Adkins, Clancy Brown, and Rina Sawayama.
John Wick 5 is also in the works and will likely begin filming in 2022, although a production-start date has not been confirmed. There’s also the prequel series The Continental in the works at Starz and reports of Ana de Armas starring in a spinoff titled Ballerina.