Popular John Wick Theory Suggests Franchise Is About the Five Stages of Grief

Since John Wick hit theaters in 2014, the eponymous character has been hellbent on revenge. Throughout the three movies we've, the retired hitman — played by superstar Keanu Reeves — has taken down hundreds (thousands?) of people standing in his way. Now, one popular fan theory has started gaining some steam online because of its dissection on apparent relation the franchise has to the five stages of grief.

Shared to Reddit by u/coces, the theory suggests the John Wick franchise will last for five movies, with each one representing one of the stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. According the intriguing theory, the first three movies have been representative of the first three stages.

As pointed out in the theory, the original John Wick movie saw the hitman move about his house with belongings of his deceased wife laying about, something that'd seem to show a strong denial of her recent passing. John Wick: Chapter 2 would then be the anger phase, pretty evident in the chaos Wick caused throughout, from the dozens of dead hitmen and bodyguards to the character's blatant disregard toward The Continental's ancient honor code.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum followed the bargaining stage of denial as the character dug deep through his life making deals with anyone that owed him a favor, despite not having contacted them in years. So far, so good — right?

Using the logistics behind this theory, that means the next movie would be representative of the depression stage — something that's well set up already. Thinking back to Parabellum, Wick was seemingly betrayed by Winston (Ian McShane) as the former nearly plummeted to his death. He's beat to a pulp and is apparently going to be forced to work with the Bowery King.

The last stage — or John Wick: Chapter 5 — would then be acceptance, meaning it'd likely see Wick come to terms with what's happened and finally bury the hatchet for good. Either way, series director Chad Stahelski says he and Reeves are willing to continue on with the franchise so long as the box office numbers warrant additional movies.

"I enjoy making these movies because there's no limit," Stahelski said last year "We create our own mythology, and we have a studio that both stays out of our way and supports us on the wacky decisions. If people go see the movie, and it makes money, and they came back to us, Keanu and I have ideas for days. I could live here for the rest of my career. If people like it and want to watch more, I could think of way worse ways to spend your career. But, you know, we're in the entertainment business. We'll let the audience figure that out."


John Wick 4 is set for release May 21, 2021.

What's been your favorite Wick film yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!