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10 John Wick Characters We Wish Had A Bigger Role In The Franchise


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Summary

  • The Continental Hotel is a key pillar of the John Wick underworld, with many interesting characters working there.
  • Helen’s role in John Wick’s past and her relationship with him is largely implied, leaving room for more details to be revealed.
  • Ares, a mute assassin, stands out among other killers in the franchise and shares a unique connection with John Wick.

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The John Wick franchise mainly focuses on Keanu Reeves’ highly skilled assassin, but there are plenty of supporting characters which help build the world around him, and some of them deserve a lot more attention. John Wick presents a version of a criminal underworld which is unlike any other. There are all sorts of arcane rules and conventions which assassins must abide by, and the franchise has some fantastic worldbuilding to make this society seem more real. The criminal world of John Wick is populated with shady gangsters, assassins, and those who work to maintain the system.

One of the pillars of John Wick‘s clandestine underworld is the Continental Hotel, a neutral safe ground for assassins where all business is strictly forbidden. The Continental has branches all over the world, so many of the most interesting John Wick characters work for the hotel in some capacity. With John’s journey taking him all over the world, he rarely gets to spend much time with any characters for too long, so some of them are sadly underutilized. They all contribute to the immersive world of John Wick, but some characters are so entertaining that they deserve a lot more screen time.

10 Marcus

John Wick (2014)

Willem Dafoe in John Wick

Willem Dafoe helped the John Wick franchise get off to a flying start with his performance as Marcus, a rare friend to John in the chaotic world of assassins and gangsters. Looking back on the first movie reveals that John Wick has changed a lot, but the story is still very strong. Marcus serves as a kind of guardian angel for John, using his ability with a sniper rifle to save his life multiple times. Marcus and John clearly have a pre-existing relationship, but the movie doesn’t have much time to delve into their past, or what makes them such close allies.

9 Helen

John Wick (2014)

John and Helen sitting at atable facing each other in John Wick

The death of John’s dog is the catalyst which brings him back into the world of assassins, but his wife’s passing is what first pushes him toward the brink. John Wick is a revenge thriller in some ways, but it’s also about how the depths of John’s grief dredge up his violent past. Helen is alluded to more often than she is seen, so her effect must be largely implied. Not much is known about Helen and John’s relationship, and how she helps him leave the Tarasovs. Helen isn’t the most exciting character in the John Wick franchise, but some more details about her could reveal a lot about John.

8 Ares

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Ares looks serious in John Wick Chapter 2

John is one of the few other characters who is proficient in sign language, so he shares a strange connection with Ares.

There’s no shortage of dangerous killers in the John Wick franchise, so it takes something special to stand out from the crowd. Ares is the second-in-command to Santino D’Antonio, and she’s one of many assassins who clearly has some respect for John Wick, but she is still tasked with stopping him. She’s mute, but her lack of speech is more than just a gimmick, as it limits who she can communicate properly with, and it affects how others see her. John is one of the few other characters who is proficient in sign language, so he shares a strange connection with Ares.

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7 Akira

John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023)

Akira with a bow and arrow in John Wick Chapter 4

The John Wick franchise has shown no signs of going stale, with each new movie introducing new innovative action scenes and interesting characters. Akira is a great example of this. She is introduced in John Wick: Chapter 4 as the concierge of the Osaka Continental Hotel, but she is also a formidable fighter. Her prowess with a bow and arrow brings something new to the franchise, but she’s equally adept with other weapons or hand-to-hand combat. She survives to the end of John Wick: Chapter 4, so there’s a good chance that one of the deadliest assassins in John Wick will make another appearance.

6 Koji

John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023)

Hiroyuki Sanada as Koji in John Wick: Chapter 4

Koji is Akira’s father, and the owner of the Continental Hotel in Osaka where she works. Many of the best action scenes in John Wick: Chapter 4 feature Koji in some way, including the showdown with the High Table and his sword fight with Caine. But Koji is an intriguing character for reasons other than just his combat skills. He believes that he owes John a debt from his past. It remains a little unclear how exactly the two men became close, but Koji provides yet more evidence that John was never just a ruthless, ice-cold assassin for the Tarasov crime family.

5 Sofia

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

Sofia is one of the most interesting new characters introduced in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. She’s the manager of the Continental Hotel in Casablanca, Morocco, but she gets into trouble with the High Table when she helps John despite him being excommunicado. Sofia and John clearly share a combative history, but he has a Marker, so she must honor her blood oath to John Sofia’s dogs are trained for combat, but she also possesses a wide range of other fighting skills. She’s too good a character to waste on just one movie, but a John Wick spinoff with Sofia could be on the way.

4 The Director

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

Keanu Reeves as John Wick holds up a gold cross to Anjelica Huston as The Director in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum.

Leader of the Ruska Roma crime organization, The Director helps John find his way to Morocco so that he can clear his name. She knows that she risks harsh repercussions from the High Table by doing so, but she acts as a mother figure to John, and she wants to protect him. Fortunately, Anjelica Huston will reprise her role as The Director for the upcoming John Wick spinoff Ballerina, which will star Ana de Armas as a dancer and assassin under The Director’s tutelage. This could put The Director in a more important role, and hopefully it will shed some light on her relationship with John.

3 Caine

John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023)

Caine is the only assassin who can match up with John’s incredible skillset, even though he is blind. He has honed his other senses to compensate for his blindness, and he often has a better sense of his surroundings than some people with perfect vision. Caine looks like he could be a key character for John Wick 5, although story details remain shrouded in mystery for the sequel. John Wick gives Donnie Yen a platform to do what he does best. He’s one of the best martial arts actors working in Hollywood, so only using him for one movie would be a waste.

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2 Tick Tock Man

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

Jason Mantzoukas in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

The Tick Tock Man is one of many minor characters who help to add color to the John Wick universe, like the Sommelier and the Harbinger. He is a spy and assassin who works for the Bowery King, disguising himself as a homeless person to avoid detection. He blends in to the background in New York City, but this is exactly how the Bowery King prefers to operate, and the extent of his organization is shrouded in mystery. Jason Mantzoukas often brings a quirky, off-center energy to his characters, and this makes the Tick Tock Man a volatile and mysterious presence. It seems as though he’s hiding more secrets.

1 Killa

John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023)

The previous mob bosses were more grounded, but they were interchangeable. Killa stands out as a maverick.

The villains in the John Wick franchise have gotten gradually more and more eccentric and outlandish since the first movie. Compared to Viggo Tarasov and Santino D’Antonio, Killa Harkan seems like he doesn’t even belong to the same franchise. His love of poker and his playful approach to his work make him a much more compelling villain. The previous mob bosses were more grounded, but they were interchangeable. Killa stands out as a maverick. Even though he can’t return for future sequels, the John Wick franchise could still learn from him and create many more eye-catching villains for John to fight his way through.

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