I absolutely loved John Wick. From the innovative action set pieces, to the weird and wild world directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch created, it’s a film I’ve probably watched a dozen times and it never gets old. As most of you know, Keanu Reeves stars as an ex-hitman who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him. And by everything…I mean his dog. The entire film is a result of a bad decision by a gangster’s son and every time Keanu Reeves kills someone I think it’s justified. Don’t fuck with someone’s pet, especially when it was the last thing a dying wife gave her loving husband.
As you might imagine, when I heard Lionsgate was moving forward with John Wick 2, I was already saying, “Please take my money.” While I’m a bit nervous about the sequel trying to come up with another emotional reason for Reeves to kick some ass, Stahelski and Leitch aren’t. Earlier this year they said:
“We have ideas for days and without blinking twice we know we can outdo the action from the original,” Stahelski said. “It’s the matter of story and how much you like the character. That’s always the most important. If there’s great action but you have a character that no one likes and doesn’t have charisma you’re not going to watch it. Look at any great action star, whether it’s Harrison Ford or Liam Neeson or Robert Downey Jr., pick a name, you love the guy first. Good action, bad action, you just love them in action. So we want to make sure we have a story and a character that everybody loves and then we’ll dress it with action that we promise will be awesome.”
I have complete faith in these guys to deliver.
However, over the past few weeks I’d been hearing some rumblings that due to the critical and commercial success of John Wick, the two filmmakers were being offered a number of other projects. I was starting to get nervous they’d find another person to direct the sequel.
But I can now confirm, with Lionsgate as my second source, that Chad Stahelski will direct John Wick 2 and David Leitch will serve as an Executive Producer. As we reported yesterday, filming begins this fall.
While you might not know their names except as the people behind John Wick, you’ve definitely seen their awesome work in films like Speed Racer, The Bourne Legacy, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and tons of others. On some of what I just mentioned they did the stunts, and on some they directed second unit (which means they directed a lot of the action). In addition to the films I just mentioned, they run 87eleven, which is the premiere action design team in Hollywood. When an actor needs to be trained for an action role, they get sent to 87eleven.
So the big question now is what is David Leitch going to be directing on his own? I’ve been hearing a few things, but nothing I can confirm. Yet.
Back to John Wick 2: While Hollywood likes to make sequels to films that should be left alone, this is one of those times they’re getting it right. I can’t wait to check back into the Continental Hotel.
While these were posted when the first film came out, if you missed them, here are some exclusive John Wick video interviews with Keanu Reeves, Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, and Alfie Allen.