Hollywood doesn’t allow for many surprises as simple and sensationally entertaining as John Wick much anymore. What could have been yet another disposable action jaunt with zero joy and unendurably lazy self-awareness turned out to be a vibrantly playful debut for stunt-coordinators-turned-directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. It also turned out to be a hugely rejuvenation to the career of Keanu Reeves, who plays the titular super-assassin who slaughters most of a Eastern European gang in retaliation for the sadistic scion (Game of Thrones‘ Alfie Allen) of the gang’s head murdering his puppy. Oh, and the fact that the adorable pet’s killing comes relatively soon after the dead of Wick’s wife probably has something to do with his general bad attitude.
Stahelski is already set for John Wick 2, and the cast has been building quickly since the announcement that the sequel, with several members of the original cast, including Reeves, Lance Reddick, Ian McShane, Bridget Moynahan, and John Leguizamo, returning for round 2. Most importantly, Common has been set as the main villain to face-off against Wick in the new film, and, per Deadline, he’ll now be joined by a trio of very talented character actors, namely Orange is the New Black breakout Ruby Rose, Peter Stormare of Fargo, and Riccardo Scamarcio.
There’s no sign as to who the new actors will be playing, but it’s safe enough to say that they will play similarly minded killers for hire. We’ll have to wait for word as to how their characters will figure into the sequel’s structure, but seeing a bigger role for Rose, especially, is a sign that Wick is looking for actors that are as interesting to watch as they are physically able for action stunts. Currently, the sequel is slated to be released some time in 2016, with screenwriter Derek Kolstad returning once again to write, and if it’s as purely entertaining as the first one, there’s major franchise possibilities here.