‘John Wick’ Sequel Is “In Development”

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John Wick is thinking he’s back, again. Directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch have revealed that they’re in development on a sequel to the 2014 Keanu Reeves thriller, although details are scarce at the moment. After the jump, read their comments on a John Wick sequel. 

Stahelski and Leitch spilled the beans to Movies.com. “We’re in development right now,” confirmed Stahelski. Not coincidentally, the news comes just as John Wick hits home video.

“In development” is a vague phrase that could mean anything from “we’re having serious conversations with the studio” to “we got drunk and joked about it once.” In this case, though, it’s clear Stahelski and Leitch have given it some serious thought.

John Wick was one of the pleasant surprises of 2014, a stylish and relentlessly entertaining thriller that made perfect use of Reeves. Critics and audiences alike took note, spurring the $20 million movie to gross $78 million worldwide. While a sequel isn’t inevitable, it seems quite likely.

For Stahelski and Leitch, however, the challenge of a John Wick 2 isn’t going bigger and better, but staying true to the character. Explained Stahelski:

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 instead of pushing John Wick to ever-more-ridiculous extremes, they’re trying to keep him somewhat grounded. “You gotta go on a journey with the guy and have to like the guy,” said Leitch.

Speaking of “the guy,” it’s unclear whether Reeves plans to return. Stahelski and Leitch certainly seem to hope he will. “If we could work with Keanu Reeves for ten movies you’d have a really cool career,” said Stahelski.

John Wick got a lot of attention for its inventive action sequences, but it’s great to hear Stahelski and Leitch understand there’s so much more to the film’s appeal than shoot-outs and fistfights. Now let’s just hope they can find a way to spur John Wick back into action without killing off another adorable puppy.

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