John Wick: Chad Stahelski Thought He'd Never Get to Direct Again After First Movie

John Wick's Chad Stahelski says he thought he'd be unhirable after working on the franchise's first film.

The John Wick franchise is one of Hollywood's most explosive properties. While the latest films in the franchise such as John Wick: Chapter 4 have been appointment viewing for anyone looking to get a nice shot of adrenaline, the line hasn't always been as popular as the first film was essentially produced as if it were an arthouse film on a shoestring budget. In fact, John Wick: Chapter 1 helmer Chad Stahelski now says he would have bet his house that he wouldn't have been hired to direct more movies because of how the production on the first Wick flick went.

"I was absolutely confident that'd be the last time I ever directed. Let me get this straight, we're going to shoot over 80 people in the head over a puppy and we're not going to have a good guy and a bad guy? I was like, 'Yeah, no, I'm done,'" the filmmaker said on the latest episode of Josh Horowitz's Happy, Sad, Confused podcast. "We were going to do this artsy action film with nice cinematography in New York and we had no budget to stay in New York. It sounded really, really good when we were conceptualizing and the arrogance of ignorance got us through it. We didn't know what we didn't know so we just figured, 'Why not?'"

Is there going to be a John Wick 5?

Stahelski has now directed all four John Wick films, and many fans are hoping for a fifth. The director, on the other hand, says both he and Keanu Reeves are taking a break from the franchise for now.

"In our minds, Keanu and I are done for the moment. We're going to give John Wick a rest," Stahelski shared with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year. "I'm sure the studio has a plan. If everyone loves it and it goes kooky, then we'll take a quiet minute. Wicks always, for some weird reason, always get the latest release date in Japan. It's always like, three months later. If it's the same this time, we'll do a Japanese tour and release the movie in September. Keanu and I will take the long trip to Tokyo, we'll sit in the Imperial Hotel Scotch Bar and go, 'What do you think?' We'll have a couple 20-year-old whiskies and write some ideas on napkins. If those ideas stick, maybe we'll make a movie."

Ballerina hits theaters on June 7th, 2024 while John Wick: Chapter 4 is now available for purchase wherever movies are sold ahead of its streaming debut later this year. The first three films in the franchise are streaming on Tubi.