Derek Kolstad

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Derek Kolstad
Born (1974-04-04) April 4, 1974 (age 47)
  • Screenwriter
  • film producer
Years active1987–present
StyleNeo-noir action films

Derek Kolstad (born April 4, 1974) is an American screenwriter and film producer. He is the creator of the John Wick franchise, which began in 2014 with the film of the same name. He continued to write for the sequels of the franchise and is mainly known as a screenwriter of action films and shows.


Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Kolstad attended Edgewood High School of the Sacred Heart and later studied business administration at Taylor University in Indiana. He moved to California at age 24 to pursue screenwriting. He says he started writing films when he was a teenager, but he struggled to find success in Hollywood at first.[1]


The first script he sold was called Acolyte, which was purchased by Voltage Pictures in June 2012. After that, he got some writing and re-writing work, including work on One in the Chamber, starring Dolph Lundgren and Cuba Gooding Jr. He then wrote another Dolph Lundgren film titled The Package.

By the end of 2012, Kolstad sold his other script, titled Scorn, to Thunder Road Pictures, and in April 2013, Keanu Reeves agreed to star in the film. It was Reeves who suggested the name of the film be changed to John Wick after the title character,[2] who was named after Kolstad's maternal grandfather[citation needed]. The film went on to become a major box office and critical success. It has been followed by two sequels, John Wick: Chapter 2 in 2017 and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum in 2019.[3] In addition to the films, Kolstad also wrote the video game John Wick: Chronicles and was involved with the creation of the John Wick comic book series.[4]

In 2017, it was reported that Kolstad will write a live-action television adaptation of the Hitman franchise as well as an action-thriller titled The Steward.[5][6][7]

In 2019, it was reported that Kolstad will write and produce a live-action film adaptation of the Just Cause franchise.[8]

In 2020, Netflix announced that Kolstad will be an executive producer and writer on the upcoming "Splinter Cell" anime series.[9]

In 2021, Kolstad was hired to write the screenplay for a live-action adaptation of Hellsing for Amazon Prime Video.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Kolstad lives in Pasadena, California with his wife Sonja and twin children.[11]



Year Title Producer Writer Director Notes
2012 One in the Chamber No Yes William Kaufman
2013 The Package No Yes Jesse V. Johnson
2014 John Wick No Yes Chad Stahelski
2017 John Wick: Chapter 2 No Yes
2019 John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum No Yes
2021 Nobody Executive Yes Ilya Naishuller
TBA Just Cause TBA Yes Michael Dowse


Year(s) Title Executive
Writer Notes
2020 Die Hart Co-creator Story [9]
2021 The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Co-executive producer Yes Episodes: "Power Broker" and "The Whole World Is Watching"[12]


  1. ^ Doug Moe, Doug Moe: John Wick, hit man,, January 6, 2014.
  2. ^ Giroux, Jack (February 10, 2017). "Interview: 'John Wick: Chapter 2' Screenwriter Derek Kolstad on Expanding the World and Paying Homage to 'Open Range'". /Film. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018.
  3. ^ Gary Collinson, An interview with Derek Kolstad, screenwriter of John Wick, Flickering Myth, October 24, 2014.
  4. ^ Boris Kyt, 'John Wick 3' Brings Back Writer Derek Kolstad (Exclusive) Archived June 1, 2017, at WebCite, The Hollywood Reporter, June 1, 2017.
  5. ^ Dave McNary, ‘John Wick’ Writer Derek Kolstad Sets up ‘The Steward’ With Cristal Pictures, Variety, June 19, 2017.
  6. ^ James White, Hitman Targets A TV Relaunch With John Wick's Derek Kolstad, Empire, November 13, 2017.
  7. ^ Borys Kit, 'John Wick 3' Brings Back Writer Derek Kolstad, Hollywood Reporter, June 1, 2017.
  8. ^ "'John Wick' Writer Derek Kolstad Tackling 'Just Cause' Video Game Adaptation". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "'Splinter Cell' Anime Series From 'John Wick' Writer Derek Kolstad Set at Netflix (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  10. ^ "Amazon Develops Live-Action Hellsing Film With John Wick Writer". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  11. ^ Carlson, Julie. "How Pasadena Resident and John Wick Creator Derek Kolstad Achieved "Overnight" Success After 20 Years". Pasadena Magazine. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  12. ^ "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Production Brief" (PDF). Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 15, 2021. Retrieved March 15, 2021.

External links[edit]