Keanu Reeves is back! Or, at least he will be back this fall when filming starts on John Wick 2, the sequel to the indie action flick that quickly achieved cult status. We previously reported that the follow-up film was greenlit and would feature Reeves returning in the title role, but now we have a better idea of just when filming will get underway. Thunder Road Pictures confirmed that Reeves and company would be shooting the sequel this fall, with directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski returning, as well as screenwriter Derek Kolstad. The news came within a press release announcing the company’s other upcoming releases, including Scott Waugh’s Outlaw, Inc.; Alex Proyas’ Gods of Egypt; and the buzzworthy crime-thriller Sicario from Denis Villeneuve.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the original film that started this burgeoning franchise, Reeves starred as an ex-hitman – with a very bad reputation for killing everyone who crossed him – who comes out of retirement after some nogoodnik’s rough him up and kill his dog. In the history of bad ideas, this turns out to be one of the worst. Reeves’ title character goes on to spend the majority of the movie tracking down the thugs, which leads him to uncover some uncomfortable truths from his past.
As for what we can expect from John Wick 2, according to Stahelski and Leitch, they were in development on the second film as far back as February. Here’s Stahelski’s take on it:
“We have ideas for days and without blinking twice we know we can outdo the action from the original. 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.”
So, to sum up, more story, more character, and more action. That’s pretty much what you can expect at this point in the game. When John Wick made $78 million worldwide from a $20-million production budget, plus about $37 million from Digital/DVD/Blu-ray sales, you just knew another movie was coming. I, for one, am hoping for a trilogy of films just so I can offer up more terribly punned titles such as ‘John Wick 3: The Wickiest’ and ‘John Wick Fixes a Sticky Wicket.’