For John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, director Chad Stahelski (John Wick, John Wick: Chapter 2) confronted the “curse” of doing a sequel.
“You try to do something that’s very original, and by the very nature of doing a sequel, it can’t be as original as the original, so you have a couple of choices,” he said in a featurette for the home video release. “You can blow more… up and have bigger spaceships and bigger monsters — or you expand. That’s what we tried to do with John Wick — just get more in depth to who he is, what his world entails and show that through his personal journey.”
“It’s about John’s journey and his quest to live to remember his wife Helen,” added Keanu Reeves, who stars as master assassin John Wick.
John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum is available now on digital and 4K Ultra HD combo pack (plus Blu-ray and digital), Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD and digital), DVD, and on demand from Lionsgate.
Featurettes explore the mythology and action of the “John Wick” universe; the planning that went into the horse chase sequence and “dog-fu” fight sequences; and the editing.
Chapter 3 features previous franchise stars Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane and Lance Reddick, but it also expands with new faces, including Halle Berry and Anjelica Huston.
In the film, Wick has a $14 million price tag on his head after killing a member of the High Table, the shadowy international assassins’ guild. With an army of the world’s most ruthless hit men and women on his trail, John must find a way to survive. He seeks out a figure from his past to help him on his journey, the mysterious “Director” (Huston), at an academy in a ballet theater. “It’s basically a school for young assassins,” Huston explained in the extras. The threequel also expands geographically, taking the action to a foreign outpost of the Continental hotel chain in Casablanca. There, Wick meets up with Sofia (Berry), another accomplished assassin who uses her pet dogs to take out enemies. Berry spent long hours building a relationship with her Belgian Malinois companions.
“I could command them like the trainers,” she said in the disc featurette about the canine training.
Parabellum also expands the action.
“It really was one of the hardest physical stories that I’ve had to tell because there is a lot more action in Parabellum than in the other two films,” Reeves said in the extras.
“He’s fearless,” added Berry, who also had to commit to months of physical training.
“Some people say they want to do ‘John Wick’ training — and then it starts,” Reeves noted in the extras. “Halle said, ‘Thank you, sir. Can I please have some more?’”
“If you hurt, so what?” added Berry.
On the Road With John Wick
Aug. 31 through the first half of September, Lionsgate mounted a “John Wick Road Trip,” displaying the vehicles used by the on-the-run hitman in the series, including the Ford Mustang from the first two movies and a Zero DSR motorcycle from John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum.
The motorcycle sequence was one of the most elaborate in the film.
“They designed this motorcycle sequence that involved live action in the moment and then working in a computer-generated space,” Reeves said in the extras.
The tour also featured a traveling museum of series memorabilia.
The exhibit traveled across the Midwest and East Coast to visit select Best Buy Stores, NASCAR events, and a Green Bay Packers football game. Fans had the opportunity to take a photo with the Mustang, escape an army of assassins with a “John Wick” motorcycle green screen and check out real props from the films.
Lionsgate designed some killer exclusive packaging for top retailers.
Best Buy exclusive steelbook:
Walmart packaging with black coin:
Target exclusive steelbook: