It’s harder to think of a more surprisingly-awesome action film from the past few years than the Keanu Reeves-led John Wick. The movie was not only a welcome return-to-form for Reeves as an action star, but also was an all-around great film. Featuring some of the coolest fight scenes from the past few years through the use of a new fighting style called “gun-Fu”, it followed John Wick as he sought vengeance for the ruthless murder of his dog, and led to him taking down the man and organization that used to employ him.
However, the movie also included some incredibly interesting and effective world-building that hinted at an entire history to the assassin organization, which I personally – would be very interested in learning more about. It’s one of the few times too where I’m actually, genuinely excited for the film’s sequel because I do think there is an exceptional amount of material that they could explore more of, whether it be the history of the Continental, or where John’s life goes moving forward from the events that ended the first film.
Collider recently got the chance to speak to actor Keanu Reeves about the sequel, where he revealed some new, small story details about the follow-up, and gave fans a much clearer picture about where the character is heading next. In regards to the movie’s premise, Reeves revealed that the film will focus on the two sides of Wick, the married man who lost his wife, and the mythical assassin we saw take over in the first film:
“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.”
However, one of the biggest objectives for Reeves and everyone involved going into the sequel, was to make sure that they wouldn’t be rehashing the same plot and emotional beats from the original, which is something I think some fans were worried about.
“‘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.”
For those of you hoping for more from the previously mentioned Hotel Continental too – it looks like you’re in luck:
“Chad 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.”
The actor also revealed that they are planning to start production at the end of the month, and that the sequel will continue to develop and expand John’s fighting style in the sequel by enhancing the gun-Fu without making the character a sudden superhero (looking at you Die Hard 5):
“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.”
However, it doesn’t sound like Reeves and co. have any plans at the moment of turning the movies into a full-blown franchise, and are more concerned with making the next sequel as good as it can be:
“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.”
Part of what made John Wick so good was just how original of an action film it was. In its aesthetic, story, action, and editing – it seemed like one of the more ingenious additions to the genre in the past few years, and it’s easy to see how it has managed to amass such a large and dedicated cult-following. With the sequel featuring most of the returning creative team from the first, and a story that doesn’t seem cheap or formulaic (judging by these comments at least), it seems like John Wick 2 might actually be one of the better action sequels in development right now.
My only real concern with the sequel is the possibility of the writers and directors expanding the world too much. Something that I’ve noticed a lot of lately is sequels to good movies not living up to the hype because they try for too much. I think we saw this in Avengers: Age of Ultron earlier this year even, where filmmakers feel the need to bring in so many new elements that they end up taking away from the movie’s actual story and character development. So I’m just going to sit here, cross my fingers, and hope that John Wick 2 manages to balance the tightrope of expanding the world and story just enough, without giving us too much.
John Wick 2 is set to begin production this month.
Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.
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