John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (or simply John Wick: Chapter 3) is a 2019 American action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski from a screenplay by Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, and Marc Abrams, based on a story by Kolstad. The film is the sequel to John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) and the third installment in the John Wick franchise. It stars Keanu Reeves as the eponymous character, alongside an ensemble supporting cast including Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Lance Reddick, Anjelica Huston, and Ian McShane. The film centers on John Wick going on the run from a legion of hitmen after a bounty is placed for his murder.
In October 2016, Stahelski stated a third John Wick film was in the works; this was formally announced in June 2017, after the returns of Reeves and Kolstad were confirmed, followed by Stahelski's return in January 2018. Much of the returning cast and crew was confirmed that following month, with new members joining that May. Principal photography began that month and lasted through that November, with filming locations including New York City and Casablanca.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum had its premiere at the Regal Union Square in New York City on May 9, 2019, and was released in the United States on May 17, by Lionsgate. It received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for the action sequences, visual style, and Reeves's performance. The film grossed over $327 million worldwide and took just 10 days to become the highest-grossing film in the franchise. A sequel, John Wick: Chapter 4, was released in March 2023, with a spin-off film, Ballerina, set to be released in the future.
Plot: John Wick is making his way through Manhattan before he is labeled "excommunicado" for the unauthorized killing of High Table crime lord Santino D'Antonio. At the New York Public Library, John retrieves a marker medallion and a rosary. He is injured in a fight with another hitman, Ernest, and seeks medical treatment from an underworld doctor. His excommunicado status activates before the doctor can finish, forcing John to complete the suturing himself. Upon leaving, he is quickly pursued by various gangs of assassins, all of whom he kills.
John meets with The Director, the head of the Ruska Roma crime syndicate, where he presents the rosary and demands safe passage to Casablanca. As John was once a member, the Director reluctantly agrees. Meanwhile, a High Table Adjudicator meets with New York Continental manager Winston and the Bowery King, notifying them that they both have seven days to resign from their positions for helping John.[N 1] The Adjudicator enlists Zero, a Japanese assassin, and orders him to stab the Director through both of her hands as penance for aiding John. In Casablanca, John meets Sofia, his former friend and manager of the Moroccan Continental.
John presents the medallion, which binds Sofia to return a debt of John placing Sofia's daughter in hiding. John demands to be directed to the Elder, the only person above the High Table. Sofia begrudgingly takes John to Berrada, her former boss, who tells John he may find the Elder by wandering through the desert until he can no longer walk. When Sofia refuses to give Berrada one of her trained Belgian Malinois, he shoots the dog but hits its bulletproof vest. John prevents Sofia from killing Berrada. They fight their way out of the kasbah and drive into the desert, where she leaves John. Seven days later, the Adjudicator and Zero confront the Bowery King, who refuses to abdicate his position. In response, Zero's students slaughter his men while the Bowery King is slashed seven times with a wakizashi. Meanwhile, John collapses in the desert and is brought to The Elder. John states that he wants to live to keep the memory of the love he once had with his late wife.[N 2] The Elder agrees to forgive John if he kills Winston and remains subservient to the High Table for the remainder of his life. To show his fealty, John severs his ring finger and gives his wedding ring to The Elder.
John returns to New York and is attacked by Zero and his students before reaching the protection of the Continental. The Adjudicator arrives, but Winston refuses to abdicate, and John refuses to kill him, leading the Adjudicator to revoke the Continental's neutral status and send both Zero and an army of heavily armed High Table enforcers to kill John and Winston. Winston provides John with weapons and the assistance of concierge Charon and his staff. After killing all the enforcers, John is ambushed by Zero and his students; John proceeds to kill all but two. Zero battles John but is eventually defeated and left to die. On the roof of the Continental, The Adjudicator agrees to a parley with Winston, who offers allegiance to the High Table.
John arrives; Winston shoots him, and John falls to the street below. Winston reassumes his position, and the severely injured John is secretly delivered to the Bowery King in an underground bunker; the two agree to join forces against the High Table.