Shortly after the first John Wick film arrived in theaters in 2014, the Keanu Reeves action vehicle became a globally-recognized franchise. John Wick is the premiere action franchise of the 2010s, and will likely remain in that spot throughout the 2020s as well. There are multiple John Wick sequels in development, as well as a TV series called The Continental. All of the new projects, however, are moving forward without franchise writer Derek Kolstad.
While speaking to Collider, Kolstad noted that he wasn't working on the fourth or fifth John Wick movie, which comes as a surprise given that he penned the scripts for the first three.
"I'm actually not involved in four and five," Kolstad explained. "No. At a certain stage of the studio will tell you, your creation is graduated, and you wish it well. I'm still close with Chad [Stahelski], still close with Dave [Leitch], and I don't know what's going to happen, but I'm excited to see."
Kolstad elaborated a bit more on the topic, explaining that it wasn't his choice to walk away from the John Wick franchise. Unfortunately, that's just how the industry works when it comes to franchises like this, and Kolstad doesn't seem to have any hard feelings about it.
"No, it wasn't my decision. When you think of the contractually of these things, the third one I shared the credit with any number of people, they didn't have to come back to me, and so they didn't," said Kolstad. "And so you look at that and you could be hurt, and I would say if I was 20 years ago I would have been, but seeing what the industry is and how things go, I just believe that you bless everything and hope it all the best, and to the players involved who are doing other things elsewhere. And yeah, it's personal, so I'm never going to talk shit about John Wick. I want this thing to survive and thrive."
With John Wick now in the hands of other creators, Kolstad is focusing on a multitude of other projects, including the upcoming film Nobody, as well as the live-action TV adaptation of the popular Hitman video game series.