The adventures of John Wick will continue — without the guy who created him.

That’s the long and short of a series of articles this week with Derek Kolstad, the writer of the original John WickJohn Wick Chapter 2, and John Wick: Chapter 3 (which he technically co-wrote with several others). While the Wick series is definitely moving forward, Kolstad — the guy who created the John Wick character and his unique universe of extremely dapper hitmen who like to hang out at lavish hotels — is not involved.

Kolstad explained the situation in an interview with Collider where he said he was not writing the John Wick 4 script, and that it was not his decision to leave the franchise. As he put it:

When you think of the contractually of these things, the third one I shared the credit with any number of people, they didn't have to come back to me, and so they didn't. At a certain stage the studio will tell you, your creation is graduated, and you wish it well. I'm still close with Chad (Stahelski), still close with David (Leitch), and I don't know what's going to happen, but I'm excited to see.

The main writer on John Wick 4, reportedly, is Michael Finch, who previously wrote American Assassin, Hitman: Agent 47, and Predators. The film is currently scheduled to go into production in June and will feature a more “international” flavor than the previous trilogy, which were largely set in and around New York City.

While the slickly choreographed violence has always been the big selling point for the John Wick movies, the films have also been very well-written, with a surprisingly dense mythology about the criminal underworld. The Continental, the weird hitman mythology, all that stuff is a lot of fun, so to hear that one of the key guys who created all that stuff hasn’t been brought back this time (and that it wasn’t his choice) is a little disconcerting.

Still, even without John Wick, Kolstad’s staying busy. His latest film, Nobody with Bob Odenkirk, opens in theaters this Friday.

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