Last year’s action flick John Wick built up a devoted little fanbase and made a tidy little profit. I didn’t like the film as much as others, but I can see it building up a larger following as more people discover the movie on Blu-ray, VOD, etc. And the more people that like it, the more likely it is that we’ll be getting John Wick 2.
Speaking to Movies.com, directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch say they’re already in development on a John Wick sequel, and while they didn’t go into any specifics or say if Keanu Reeves would return to play the merciless killer, they did note that they had ideas for the sequel and know how they would up the action. The challenge is keeping John Wick compelling to audiences. Stahelski explains:
“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’ll agree that casting Reeves in the lead role was part of the film’s appeal, and I think if they recast it with a B-lister, then it could quickly roll into straight-to-DVD territory where it’s just about a nicely-dressed guy who’s very good at killing people. John Wick definitely needs to expand as a character (he can’t seek revenge for his murdered goldfish), and while I’m glad that the directors are focusing on keeping the character likable, I hope they also go more into the nooks and crannies of John Wick’s world, which was the best part of the original.