The Keanu Reeves-starring action movie John Wick was a fair-sized hit when it was released in October 2014. But the film proved to have a long tail as more and more viewers discovered this story of a retired hitman who seeks vengeance following the murder of his dog — and the New York hotel which acts as a place of neutral safety for killers. One result of that? Fans kept hitting director Chad Stahelski and his producer/creative partner David Leitch (who co-directed the first film with Stahelski) with a lot of questions and demands.
“People kept asking us in the year after the movie came out, ‘We’d like to see more about the hotel,'” Stahelski tells EW. “‘We’d like to see more about all the different characters.’ ‘What is this underworld where everyone’s the best?'”
Stahelski promises that those subjects will be addressed in John Wick: Chapter 2 (out Feb. 10, 2017), which finds Reeves’ Wick dealing with the consequences of murdering many, many people in the first film.
“What’s it like to be in a world like this? That’s what we really wanted to expand on,” the director says. “Me and the other creators on the show, my partner and the other producers, the biggest attraction to us about filmmaking really is creating a universe, and creating a world, and creating a little bit of escape. That’s really what we focused on and we’re hoping that’s what comes across in the second movie.”
New cast members include Common and Orange Is the New Black star Ruby Rose. Another newcomer to the world of John Wick is Laurence Fishburne, who worked with Stahelski on the Matrix trilogy back when the director was a stuntman and stunt coordinator.
“I loved working with him,” Stahelski says. “So we made a call and he was more than gracious and more than willing to come help.” So can he tell us a little about the part Fishburne is playing? “Laurence’s character, we just call him ‘The Bowery King,'” the spoiler-averse filmmaker teases.
Stahelski is more illuminating on the amount of mayhem featured in the sequel. “I would say we had twice as much action as the first movie,” he says about the shoot. “We took it all a full notch up as far as the driving car stuff went. A great portion of the car chase in the opening of the film is Keanu, which is very impressive.”
See the just-released teaser poster for John Wick: Chapter 2 below.