‘John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum’: Here’s What We Know So Far

“That will be big and that will be good.”

John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum premieres in May. Despite the release of one seriously kickass trailer, intriguing still images, and basic details of the plot, we still don’t know exactly what happens.

Ian McShane, who plays mysterious Continental proprietor Winston, is currently doing interviews promoting American Gods, but the man has no problem with answering Wick 3 questions—sort of. 

Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King; Ian McShane as Winston

In an interview about Gods with the New York Times, McShane had some fun. His second answer in the quote below, however, was somewhat revealing:

What about “John Wick: Chapter 3”?

That will be big and that will be good.

Your character, Winston — the owner of the Continental hotel, neutral territory for assassins — let John get away at the end of Chapter 2. Will there be payback?

Well, the High Table doesn’t like anybody stepping out of line so maybe they’ll take me to task, giving John an out, even. And you’ve got Laurence Fishburne and me, and maybe we get together, maybe we’re unvirtuous. Who knows? Because nothing is the same.

I’ve heard that you aren’t going to be part of “The Continental,” the Starz spinoff.

I may give them a voice-over. You never know.

If you are familiar with McShane it’s easy to hear him answering these questions with a little laugh and a sly smile. With his intriguing use of “unvirtuous” he seemed to be indicating that what we understood about the Assassin Underworld might change in Wick 3.

Below are some of the main facts we already know about John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum. Let’s see how McShane’s hints might fit.

What “Parabellum” means: Keanu Reeves explained that one. “It’s part of that famous sentence, ‘Si vis pacem, para bellum,’ which translates as, ‘If you want peace, prepare for war.’” This isn’t just your usual assassin shenanigans but all-out battle, apparently.

Keanu Reeves, Angelica Huston

John is on the run, and goes as far as the desert: Wick is traipsing up a big sand dune in the trailer so we know he’s not in New York City, anymore. Obviously, fleeing the $14 million bounty on his head after murdering Santino D’Antonio at the end of John Wick: Chapter 2 requires some extreme measures (filming locations included New York, Spain, and Russia.)

The all-star cast includes a 7’3″ NBA player: Hey, this has to be significant somehow, perhaps showing just how much the secret assassin-filled universe is ready to throw at the guy. In addition to a majority of the remaining players from the previous movies—Ruby Rose, Fishburne, McShane—there is 76ers center Boban Marjanovic, and he is not some slight, spindly bean pole of a man; he’s an imposing 7’3″. He alone could symbolize just high the stakes have become.


Halle Berry: She plays Sophia, an assassin who apparently loves dogs as much as John, and the two go back a bit. In addition to John reportedly killing more than ever, Sophia and Angelica Huston’s Director make it clear we are going to learn some serious back story for John Wick, past him simply being a sad widower with amazing tactical pencil fighting skills.

John rides a horse: And a motorcycle, and for all we know a camel before he’s done. One set photo even had him in a yellow cab. He gets around really well without Uber or Lyft.

Getty Images

To sum—John Wick is on the run with a $14 million bounty on his head and he’s facing more foes than ever, including an actual giant. He may have an ally in Berry’s Sophia. Ian McShane’s Winston and Laurence Fishburne’s Bowery King have been slippery allies in the past, but McShane says they may not be so virtuous. Even they could turn on Wick.

And man, will there ever be a ton of dead bodies to clean up when all is said and done. Then planning for a Wick 4? Let’s hope so.

This will all gel for us when John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum gallops into theaters May 17th.