Easily one of the most-anticipated non-superhero sequels in the works, John Wick: Chapter Two recently wrapped filming and is set to arrive in theaters nationwide in 2017. The first film was an instant cult sensation thanks to its propulsive, break-neck action set-pieces and a delighful undertone of world-building that set the flick apart from your standard revenge fare. Fortunately Mr. Wick, née Keanu Reeves, and director Chad Stahelski, the returning half of the original directing duo, are looking to up the game on both counts.
In an interview with IGN, Reeves teased how Chapter Two, which travels to Rome — a clever move that leaves a lot of room to further explore the in-world mythology of the criminal underground — will delve deeper into that world and up the action at the same time.
“For us it was just what is the next chapter? What is the continuation of this story? Opening up the world – the underground world. The world behind the world in terms of the assassins. Kind of evolving the action – if the first one was a black belt, then this one is third degree black belt. It’s such a fun project and a great character.”
Chapter Two also brings in a slew of new characters, which makes sense since a whole lot of people got shot in the head the first time around, and reunites Reeves with his The Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne. Reeves revealed that Fishburne takes on the role of “The Bowery King”, certainly a formidable sounding title, though it remains unclear if the King will incur John Wick’s wrath or help him exact it.
“Laurence has this fantastic role as a character in the Underworld called The Bowery King” Reeves explained. “He plays such a great character in the piece and he brings of course humour, intelligence, charisma and fascination – he’s such an incredible actor and it was a pleasure to work with him again.
In addition to Fishburne, Ruby Rose, Peter Stormare, and Common round out the cast with returning cast members Bridget Moynahan and Ian McShane. John Wick 2 is set to hit theaters on February 10, 2017.