Lionsgate Contemplating Gaming Push With Potential AAA John Wick Title

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer has recently proposed the expansion of the John Wick universe into video game media. Feltheimer was on an investor call when the idea came up, but has urged caution for the time being.

The fourth installment of the John Wick saga is set to release next year. The movies follow the adventures of an ex-Hitman retirement, and the underworld that once occupied his time. The movies have been a commercial success, and also been lauded for their stylized action scenes.

Lots Of Reasons Why This Could Work

The John Wick saga has been directed by stuntmen, and received lots of praise from action movie enthusiasts for eschewing shaky-cam, a cinematographic technique that had been overused and poorly used in action movies for an extended period.

The movies are also known for their long takes that follow all the action, and are a bit of an homage to gun-fu techniques that were popularized in Hong Kong action movies from yesteryear, often helmed by John Woo. The titular character is also a bit of a loner, not unlike the character’s presence in Jean-Pierre Melville’s neo-noir films, and Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns.

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Image Credit | Small Screen

All of these influences have made the movies popular among the masses, and cinema enthusiasts, which should lend themselves seamlessly to the video game medium. Most video game fans will be well-versed with this universe, which should make it easier to sell the idea.

There’s Room For A New Action Video Game Franchise

The likes of Max Payne and Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series have long been poster boys for the action genre in video games. The Uncharted series is complete, and there hasn’t been a Max Payne game for some time, which has left a bit of a vacuum for something like John Wick to fill. The Hitman series also falls under the stealth genre.

Feltheimer suggested that the aim would be to develop an AAA title. There’s already an indie game developed by Mike Bithell called John Wick Hex, but it is not a pure action title – it’s more of a strategy game.

Will They Go For Keanu’s Voice In The Game?

Keanu Reeves, who plays the titular character, has also worked in video games before, most recently playing the role of Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077. Of course, the character doesn’t have to be designed like Reeves for a video game adaptation, but the option should be available.

Reeves has been synonymous with some of the great action franchises over the last 30 years, playing the lead in the Matrix movies, while also starring in movies like Ronin. Reeves seems best-suited to playing the silent protagonist archetype, which is also a popular video game trope.

Movies To Video Game Adaptations Were More Common Before

There was a time when most blockbuster movie titles would have a video game release based on the movie around the same time. The sixth generation of console gaming, which included the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, had video games based on the Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings, The Godfather, Shrek, and every other popular IP.

Video games are far more expensive to develop now. Even video games that are based on hugely popular comic books like Spiderman and Batman are considered rarities. Of course, fans will want something different from the movies. A like-for-like narrative won’t enhance the universe.

One idea could be following John Wick in his hey-day as a young hitman. It’ll help build the mythology surrounding this character. Of course, all these creative decisions come much later into the picture. For now, the Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer and his advisors need to decide if they want to greenlight this idea, and who would be best-suited to developing it. Everything suggests that there’s a lot of potential here.