John Wick (character)

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John Wick
First appearanceJohn Wick
Last appearanceJohn Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
Created byChad Stahelski
David Leitch
Portrayed byKeanu Reeves
AliasJardani Jovanovic (real name)
NicknameBaba Yaga
OccupationUnited States Marine (formerly)
SpouseHelen Wick (deceased)

John Wick is the main protagonist of the John Wick film series. He is portrayed by Keanu Reeves. The character of John Wick is a former United States Marine turned assassin who has long retired, until a gang invades his house, steals his car and kills his dog. This sets him on a near unstoppable path of revenge.[1]


John Wick was born Jardani Jovanovic.[2] He was a Ruska Roma orphan from Belarus who was taken in by The Director and brought to the United States. Under the supervision of The Director, Jardani developed multiple martial arts skills. At some point, Jardani took the name "John Wick" and left the Ruska Roma. As John Wick, he left to serve in the United States Marine Corps 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine as evidenced by his tattoos. After leaving the Marine Corps, John joined The Continental and became a professional hitman. He became a feared and ruthless hitman his targets would call "Baba Yaga". John's skills were so intense there is a legend that he once killed 3 men in a bar with a single pencil. Eventually, John met a woman named Helen and fell in love. Hoping to leave his past as a hitman behind and pursue a normal life, John met with Viggo Tarasov who had one requirement to allow him to leave: assassinate all his rivals in one night. However, John required assistance from Santino D'Antonio and formed a blood oath with him, and eventually completed his "Impossible Task", freeing him from his service to Viggo and from his life of crime.

John Wick[edit]

Following the death of his wife, John preferred to remain isolated from society spending his days driving his prized car and caring for his new dog, Daisy, the last gift from his dearly departed wife. This changed when Iosef Tarasov assaulted John, stole his car and murdered his dog. This set John on a rampage of slaughter and vengeance. Attempting to protect his son from John's rampage, Iosef sends assassins Marcus and Ms Perkins to stop John, but both are killed. Eventually John enacts his revenge killing both Iosef and Viggo Tarasov. Following this, John rescues a new dog from an animal shelter.

John Wick: Chapter 2[edit]

After enacting his vengeance on the Tarasovs, John retrieves his prized car from Abram Tarasov and forms a truce with him allowing him to live. John hopes to return to retirement but this is interrupted by Santino D'Antonio, who asks for him to complete his blood oath and assassinate his sister, Gianna, allowing Santino to have a seat at The High Table. Wick reluctantly travels to Rome to fulfill the task, only to realize that he will be Santino's next target for eliminating a member of The High Table. Santino sends his bodyguard Ares and Gianna's former bodyguard Cassian after Wick but both ultimately fail. Santino places a $7,000,000 bounty on Wick's head, after which Wick enlists assistance from The Bowery King, who supplies him with a gun that carries only 7 bullets and information of Santino's location. John eventually finds Santino in the safe grounds of The Continental. Santino taunts John as The Continental Owner, Winston, advises John to walk away before he breaks the laws of The Continental. John eventually snaps and assassinates Santino on Continental Grounds. This leaves John Excommunicado for conducting business on Continental Grounds. Winston allows John 1 hour to escape before his time is up.[3]

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum[edit]

The character has appeared in the third film of the series.


The character and franchise has been described as a "central boogeyman character who can’t be killed" and a "modern, action-oriented equivalent of '80s horror franchises", and reportedly has a kill count of 306, exceeding Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers combined.[4][5] Wick's violent one-man crusade has been described as an extreme case of workplace revenge.[6]


The character of John Wick and its subsequent sequels were seen as a reinvigoration of Keanu Reeves's career. The films have a cult following and Reeves's portrayal of the character has been praised.[7]


  1. ^ "How Keanu Reeves learned to shoot guns for 'John Wick'". INSIDER. 2019-08-13. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
  2. ^ "John Wick 3 Isn't Just About Fighting, It's About Fame and Fandom". Spin. 2019-05-20. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
  3. ^ "'John Wick 4' underway, but don't expect a happy ending for Keanu Reeves". USA Today. 2019-05-20. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
  4. ^ John Squires (May 23, 2019). "In Just Three Movies, John Wick Has Killed More People Than Jason and Michael's Combined Total". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  5. ^ Eric Eisenberg (May 17, 2019). "John Wick Kill Count: All The Kills In All 3 Movies". Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  6. ^ Hutchinson, Sean; Tripp, Thomas (February 13, 2017). "John Wick Suffers Extreme Workplace Rage, Psychologist Says". Inverse. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  7. ^ "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum review - The Art of Action". The Guardian. 2019-05-19. Retrieved 2019-09-07.