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Is Nobody Set In The John Wick Universe?


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Many have compared Nobody to John Wick, but are the two movies set in the same universe? The record-breaking success of The Avengers ushered in Hollywood's age of the shared cinematic universe, and in the 2010s, several studios attempted their own massive crossovers. Not all of these were successful, but the likes of the MonsterVerse, Conjuring universe, and DCEU (after some retooling behind-the-scenes) are still going strong with new installments on the horizon. As a result, there's still continued interest in seeing Hollywood properties crossover.

On-paper, Nobody and John Wick seem like a tailor-made match. Both titles are high-octane action films written by Derek Kolstad, and follow a man with a violent past returning to his old ways in a fight for his life. The similarities between them were obvious to viewers when the first Nobody trailer was released, and ever since then there have been questions if the story is actually part of the John Wick world or just merely comparable. Now that Nobody is out, the answer has been revealed.

As presented, Nobody is not set in the same universe as John Wick. It does not contain any overt Easter eggs, references, or connections to the Keanu Reeves franchise, instead standing on its own merits as a separate entity. That Nobody is akin to John Wick speaks more to these types of movies being in Kolstad's wheelhouse rather than a new cinematic universe beginning.

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There are a couple of reasons why Nobody and John Wick don't crossover. For starters, Kolstad himself isn't all that interested in the idea, saying anything more than John Wick and Nobody's Hutch Mansell passing by each other in an airport would mark desperation. As fun as it would be to see the two team up, Kolstad has a good point. Nobody is aiming to be the first entry in a new franchise for star Bob Odenkirk, so it's important it's given the opportunity to tell its own story. Including any John Wick connections would run the risk of distracting audiences from Nobody's narrative. It sounds like Kolstad has no intentions of ever doing a traditional crossover between the two, or else he likely would have laid a foundation in the Nobody script.

Additionally, Nobody and John Wick are distributed by different studios. The former is a Universal release, while the latter is a cash cow for Lionsgate. This creates a rights issue with regard to any crossover. As evidenced by Sony and Disney's deal that allows Spider-Man to be part of the MCU, it's certainly possible Universal and Lionsgate could reach their own agreement so John and Hutch can cross paths. Right now, however, there's little incentive to make that happen. John Wick is still going strong with two sequels on the way, and Lionsgate brass would likely want to see how successful Nobody is before tying their franchise to another property. The projects being at separate studios also speaks to Kolstad's intention to keep them isolated. If he really wanted Nobody to crossover with John Wick, he likely would have made the pitch to Lionsgate.

Nobody (2021)
Release Date: Mar 26, 2021

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