Although they occasionally take place in high-class backdrops—fancy art shows, re-purposed Roman amphitheaters, a line of uber-fancy assassin hotels—there’s nothing especially intellectual about the John Wick series of films. (That’s not a knock, either; Chad Stahelski’s action delights don’t need to be high-brow when they’ve already got some of the most murderously enjoyable action movie mayhem of the past decade in their corner.) Still, even the world’s most-head-shooting-est man occasionally needs to class it up, which is presumably why it was recently announced that the series’ third installment would carry a Latin subtitle: Parabellum.
At the time, we assumed the name was solely a reference to guns and bullets, as those are a) things strongly related to the word parabellum, and b) things that John Wick seems to enjoy, a lot. But star Keanu Reeves—who also confirmed that John Wick 3: Parabellum is the movie’s official title—has now sufficiently schooled us, informing Coming Soon that the title actually refers to a longer Latin phrase, “Si vis pacem, para bellum.” Or, in English: “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
To be fair, that’s an extremely fitting sentiment for the John Wick franchise, a series of movies in which various very stupid underworld types do everything in their power to provoke a guy who kills dudes as easily as sneezing, and whose only goal in life is apparently to be left quietly alone with his dog. We’ll see how that vain hope plays out when Parabellum arrives in theaters next May.