Chad Stahelski’s Hands-Off Approach To Building The John Wick Cinematic Universe

Chad Stahelski, Director Of The John Wick Franchise, Takes A Hands-off Approach With The Upcoming Ballerina Spin-off

By Amitabh Mukherji
April 27,2023

Chad Stahelski, director of the John Wick franchise, recently spoke in an exclusive interview about why he did not get too involved in the upcoming spin-off film Ballerina. The movie features Ana de Armas as a ballerina assassin seeking revenge on those who killed her family. While Keanu Reeves’ John Wick character will have a small part to play in the blockbuster, it marks the first John Wick-related film that Stahelski has not been involved in.

Stahelski’s Strategy For Building A Cinematic Universe

Extended John Wick Cameo in Ballerina Spinoff

When asked how spin-offs differentiate themselves from the mainline John Wick movies, Stahelski revealed that he likes to “give as much help as I can in the beginning” and then get hands-off. He believes that the individuality of the filmmakers and storytellers involved in each project should make them stand out.

Stahelski wants to oversee and help guide the mythos of the John Wick universe but believes that letting creatives play relatively freely within that world is essential. He joked that anyone could “come up with a John Wick spinoff right now” but that the key to success is inserting their passions into the pitch.

Chad Stahelski’s Keys To A Cinematic Universe

Chad Stahelski And Keanu Reeves

In contrast to meticulously calculated storytelling within cinematic universes like the MCU and DCU, Stahelski prefers to let creatives make the things they want to make and inject themselves into the world of the Wick films. He and the John Wick team seem more interested in hearing pitches from filmmakers and green-lighting from there.

Stahelski’s approach to building a cinematic universe is different from what we usually see in Hollywood. He believes that he can bend the rules when there are no limits and that he does better when working without major IP restrictions. This attitude toward building out the John Wick universe has been hands-off, allowing individuality and creative freedom to reign.

Chad Stahelski’s latest directorial effort, John Wick: Chapter 4, is now showing in theaters, with Ana de Armas’ Ballerina scheduled for release in 2024. Stahelski’s hands-off approach to the John Wick universe has allowed creatives to bring their unique perspectives to the franchise and expand its universe.