John Wick Already Told You How Keanu Reeves Will Come Back 10 Years Ago

John Wick: Chapter 4 made Keanu Reeves’ character’s death seem inevitable, but the franchise already proved how he can once again return.

Although the John Wick franchise strongly indicated that its titular character died at the end of John Wick: Chapter 4, the series has also already shown how he could yet return in a future installment. As in many action franchises, John Wick boasts a protagonist who is all-but impossible to kill. Prior to John Wick: Chapter 4, Keanu Reeves’ character had already survived impossible odds – memorably falling off a building at the end of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. However, while this episode proved Wick can survive against the odds, an even earlier moment specifically highlighted how he can overcome John Wick: Chapter 4’s ending.

John Wick’s potential survival is a major topic of conversation for fans considering that John Wick: Chapter 5 is already confirmed, despite the character’s fate being uncertain. While it’s unknown whether the movie will be a continuation of Chapter 4‘s story or will serve as a prequel, it’s inevitable that it will have to address Wick’s supposed death. After the climactic shootout at Sacre Coeur, the previous movie ended with a seemingly definitive shot of Wick’s grave alongside his wife’s, supposedly resolving his fate. Despite this clear suggestion, however, John Wick already showed one way that the character can return from a similar situation.

The Original John Wick Already Showed Keanu Reeves Surviving Death

John Wick opening scene
While all the John Wick movies place John in series jeopardy, only to have him pull through, the original film is perhaps the best example of the character overcoming the kind of odds seen in Chapter 4’s finale. In the franchise’s opening scene, a battered John Wick crawls out of a vehicle following an epic shootout. As it starts to rain, he withdraws his phone from his pocket, rewatching old videos of his wife. As his strength seems to fade, the opening moments strongly imply the character’s eventual death. This perception, however, is completely changed by the time the film ends.

Instead of succumbing to his serious injuries, John miraculously rallies, breaking into an animal clinic to treat his wounds before rescuing a pit bull puppy and walking back home. Given his physical state at the start of the film, this moment established a precedent for John Wick to overcome incredible odds and survive the seemingly unsurvivable. However, while this is a key moment in the context of the rest of the series, it has particular resonance given the ending of John Wick: Chapter 4.

John Wick Chapter 4 Perfectly Mirrors The First Movie’s OpeningKeanu Reeves as John Wick with the sun rising behind him in John Wick: Chapter 4.

What makes John Wick’s actions in the original film so significant is how closely they parallel his fate in Chapter 4. In both scenes, he has suffered seemingly fatal injuries, sitting down to supposedly accept his fate. Even more crucially, both scenes show him reminiscing about his wife, highlighting how she is always his biggest motivating factor. Arguably the only real difference between the scenes, except for environmental factors, is that John Wick explicitly shows how John gets up and heals himself, whereas Chapter 4 leaves it as a tantalizing possibility.

…the similarities between the scenes provide a blueprint for how the franchise can retroactively undo Keanu Reeves’ character’s death.

Thematically, the mirroring between the franchise’s opening and erstwhile finale brings the story to a satisfying conclusion. However, if John Wick: Chapter 5 does continue the story from Chapter 4, it also provides a clear precedent for how John can use the strength of his wife’s memory to give him the extra strength necessary to ensure his survival. While it may seem like a cheap cop-out to simply repeat what happened in the first film, the similarities between the scenes nonetheless provide a blueprint for how the franchise can retroactively undo Keanu Reeves’ character’s death.

How John Can Still Be Alive, Despite John Wick 4’s Ending

Keanu Reeves as John Wick in his suit and John in the rain in the background

On one level, John Wick: Chapter 4‘s ending is as final as was originally thought. Not only are John Wick’s injuries more severe than the ones he suffered in the first movie, but the poignant funeral scene that caps off the movie is the clearest indication yet that his fate really is sealed. However, despite these clear narrative pointers – and beyond the precedent already established in the original John Wick – there are several ways that John Wick could feasibly return without tipping the franchise into supernatural territory.

…without a clear shot of Wick in a morgue, there remains the possibility that the hardy assassin is still at large

The biggest indication yet that John Wick is actually alive is that his death was never actually shown on camera. Although it was heavily implied, without a clear shot of Wick in a morgue, there remains the possibility that the hardy assassin is still at large. Narratively, there’s also the fact that faking his death would be the only way for him to truly escape the authority and oversight of the High Table. Having already escaped the underground world once, death would seem to be Wick’s only viable option for peace. Faking his death would allow him to return to the life he had before the events of John Wick – perhaps having finally reconciled himself to the loss of his wife.

There is also a subtle suggestion that Winston may be part of the plan to fool the High Table. At the end of Chapter 4, Wick asks whether he will “take me home” before walking off down the steps in front of the Parisian church. While it’s possible that this just meant taking his body back to be with his wife, the fact that Winston does not follow John and remains apart from him could suggest that this is a coded communication between the two men, where Winston understands that he can grant John peace by making everyone think he’s buried in New York.

Bringing John Wick Back Risks Ruining The Symbolism Of Chapter 4’s Ending


Although faking John’s death would allow the franchise an easy explanation for how John Wick: Chapter 5 could narratively pick up from where Chapter 4 left off, such an approach would have negative consequences for the power of the previous film’s story. In killing Wick and showing his memories of his wife, Chapter 4 suggests that he had finally found the peace that had eluded him for four films. This was further reinforced by the symbolic connection between John Wick‘s opening and Chapter 4‘s end, with John Wick finally able to rest and join his wife. The poignancy of this moment is at risk, should he just miraculously return.

Given how iconic Keanu Reeves’ take on the titular assassin has become, it’s understandable why the franchise would want to bring him back. However, from a narrative perspective, John’s story is almost exhausted. It was arguable that the franchise had already forgotten the emotional hardship that made Wick such a compelling protagonist originally – with Chapter 4’s ending doing an admirable job of restoring this element of his character. However lucrative it might be, bringing him back in John Wick’s next installment risks making the emotional arc of the previous four films less impactful.


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