The third instalment of the Keanu Reeves-led action thriller, John Wick, has entered pre-production ahead of filming, with the working title “Alpha Cop.”

The first John Wick film was the surprise hit of 2014, striking a chord with audiences due to the strong visual style, visceral action sequences, and a simple, yet intriguing, plot. Chapter 2 was released last year and (very unusually for Hollywood) was widely considered to be of the same quality of the original, whilst also having the additional backstory to explore Wick and the mercenary world he is a part of.

This reception, unsurprisingly, quickly led to the announcement of a third instalment. Chad Stahelski, director of the first two films, is back to helm the third, with Derek Kolstad returning to pen the script, which will hopefully make for a degree of continuity in the quality. Lionsgate has set the release date for May 2019, and it was recently confirmed that Chapter 2’s production designer, Kevin Kavanaugh will also return.

“Alpha Cop” will reportedly begin filming in Spring or Summer of this year, in New York, which has been the primary setting in the previous two John Wick films.

Working titles like this are largely used to prevent spoilers being leaked during production, especially in sequels, and as such, these titles usually have little to do with the film itself. For example, John Wick: Chapter 2 was initially entitled “Spear” – which obviously had no connection to the film’s content.

However, there is usually a small amount of truth behind the working titles. Marvel Studios, for instance, are famous for giving their productions working titles that hint at the plot – including “Frostbite” for Captain America: The First Avenger, and “Group Hug” for The Avengers – which have ties to the theme of the movies. So, “Alpha Cop” may do something similar, though the only obvious connection in John Wick is perhaps the local beat cop, Jimmy, who seems to turn a blind eye to John’s bloody activities.

Stahelski has stated that John Wick: Chapter 3 will explore the assassin’s background, so perhaps this is a hint of a relationship with the seemingly normal policeman, or maybe Wick himself began as a cop.

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