“John Wick” was a bit of a surprise film last year. Nothing against Keanu Reeves, but his involvement with a project isn’t always the most indicative of quality. Who would’ve thought that a film that utilizes a makeshift martial arts term called “gun-Fu” would actually not only be good, but kind of great?
With the film’s success, of course, comes a sequel, and to be honest, that’s where a bit of the concern lies. “John Wick” was a classic tale of revenge. You kill the man’s dog, you die. With that in mind, what can we expect from the sequel? Are they going to kill his new dog? The “Taken” franchise suffered a similar difficulty with its sequels. How do you make a premise-driven action thriller work over multiple films?
In a recent interview with Collider, Keanu Reeves revealed what’s in store for the “John Wick” sequel.
“…we had to come up with a reason why, and we came up with a reason that was good enough, that didn’t suck, and we’re just trying to make it better and better. In terms of a franchise, I don’t know, until you do it and it’s done, you don’t know, because it’s not source material, this is original goodness…
…I think we have a really good premise, and it’s an organic premise. It’s basically — to me there’s John Wick and then there’s John. You know, John is the married guy whose wife just died, and that five years of his life. Then there’s John Wick, who’s the mythical assassin. In this, John Wick’s past comes and infiltrates John’s life and John Wick, in a way, has to fight for John.”
Of course, with any sequel, one has to question if it’s actually necessary. Reeves addresses those same questions.
“‘Why tell the story? Why do we need to do this again? How do we do that without doing another dog?’ So we speak about John Wick, the next chapter, and what is that emotional hook? What is that? So I think we have a good idea of that.”
One thing the first “John Wick” film did incredibly well, was that it alluded to a much bigger world without exploiting it completely. Above all, it focused on the primal narrative it was telling. However, if you found yourself drawn to this underground world of assassins, then you’re in for quite the treat for the next movie.
“Chad and the writer, Derek Kolstad, they’ve really listened to what people have enjoyed about the work and how they speak about it. So there’s definitely that influence of the other world, the Continental world, the look, the feel, what it is about the movie, what made people like it; is definitely being paid attention to and the world opens up in this chapter.”
And then, as with any sequel, there’s the problem of escalation. Will the action scenes get so outrageous and crazy that it makes the first film look cute in retrospect? How far until we're dealing with completely different characters altogether? Reeves addresses this, as well as the evolution of gun-Fu for the sequel.
“We’re gonna do the same kind of thing in the sense of — what are the guiding principles? So it’s longer takes, know where you are on the space, who’s doing what, action with consequence. And then going to other levels of what the gun-Fu was, which was Jujitsu and Judo mixed with weapons and different styles of weapon training. So we’ve been opening up, I’ve been learning some other tools and different styles of that, and trying to develop some more techniques in terms of Judo and Jujitsu and bring those elements into the work. And then we have some other things that might be a little different…But it’s all organic. It’s not like all of a sudden John Wick has superpowers, it’s got to be connected to the character.”
Are you looking forward to “John Wick 2?” Let us know in the comments down below!