We’ve already told you that a sequel to one of last years biggest surprises, John Wick, is in development with half of its original directing team, in the form of Chad Stahelski, taking the reins solo this time around. Recently star Keanu Reeves opened up to Collider about why he’s keen to reprise the role despite the original being a fairly open-and-shut movie.
For Reeves it all boils down to a premise that follows on from the events in the first movie and develops his character further:
I think we have a really good premise, and it’s an organic premise. It’s basically — to me there’s John Wick and then there’s John. You know, John is the married guy whose wife just died, and that five years of his life. Then there’s John Wick, who’s the mythical assassin. In this, John Wick’s past comes and infiltrates John’s life and John Wick, in a way, has to fight for John.
Why tell the story? Why do we need to do this again? How do we do that without doing another dog? So we speak about John Wick, the next chapter, and what is that emotional hook? What is that? So I think we have a good idea of that.
One thing that really stood out in the original was its mythology and world-building – best displayed by the scenes taking place in and around the mysterious Continental Hotel – and it’s something the sequel is going to build on:
Chad [Stahelski] and the writer, Derek Kolstad, they’ve really listened to what people have enjoyed about the work and how they speak about it. So there’s definitely that influence of the other world, the Continental world, the look, the feel, what it is about the movie, what made people like it; is definitely being paid attention to and the world opens up in this chapter.
John Wick had some of the best action sequences of the year and the sequel, which could possibly start production this month, should be no different. Reeves revealed that he’s been hard at work training, adding some new tricks to John Wick’s repertoire:
We’re gonna do the same kind of thing in the sense of — what are the guiding principles? So it’s longer takes, know where you are on the space, who’s doing what, action with consequence. And then going to other levels of what the gun-Fu was, which was Jujitsu and Judo mixed with weapons and different styles of weapon training.
So we’ve been opening up, I’ve been learning some other tools and different styles of that, and trying to develop some more techniques in terms of Judo and Jujitsu and bring those elements into the work. And then we have some other things that might be a little different…But it’s all organic. It’s not like all of a sudden John Wick has superpowers, it’s got to be connected to the character.
One thing Reeves isn’t sure about however is whether or not John Wick will become a franchise – because the he believes it’s important for the character to have a reason to be on the big screen:
I’m interested in what happens to the guy and in this world. So when we were speaking about it, obviously it did well enough for the investors to want to do another one, which is cool, and it’s great to have the opportunity to further the story.
But we had to come up with a reason why, and we came up with a reason that was good enough, that didn’t suck, and we’re just trying to make it better and better. In terms of a franchise, I don’t know, until you do it and it’s done, you don’t know, because it’s not source material, this is original goodness.
Which is a sensible approach to creating an enduring character – one only has to look at Liam Neeson’s Bryan Mills from the Taken franchise to see how it can all go wrong over the course of three movies.
How about you John Wick fans, are you keen for a sequel that isn’t just more of the same but actually builds on what went before? I know I am, and Nick’s happy to strangle a pair of puppies if that’ll make it happen faster.
Last Updated: October 6, 2015