If you’ve seen the first film in the John Wick franchise, you’ll know that Keanu Reeves’ bereaved assassin forced out of retirement is put through the ringer. Going from the non-stop action of Chapter 1 straight into the even higher octane antics of Chapter 2, you’d expect anybody else to finish up fit to drop. But the climax of the sequel leaves Wick about to go through it all again – on an even larger scale.
Just how long can he keep it up? In an exclusive interview ahead of the home entertainment release of John Wick: Chapter 2, director Chad Stahelski tells FANDOM that Wick might only be able to take so much.
“John Wick is getting tired,” says Stahelski. “We’ve beaten him up a lot. We’ll see how John does. I think in any great warrior story there’s always the chance of death so we’ll see how John deals with that.”
While John Wick’s death could spell the end of linear sequels in the film franchise, it doesn’t mean the end of the saga altogether. In fact, a TV series is already being developed by Lionsgate and Stahelski reveals he’s said yes to being involved.
He’s also been talking about Chapter 3. And if you’re wondering whether the third instalment will pick up where Chapter 2 leaves off – just as 2 picks up in the immediate aftermath of the first – Stahelski hints that it’s possible.
“All I’ll say about that is I believe chapters are the best explanation,” he says. “I would like to have all three films… you could watch them back to back to back and it would seem like one movie.”
Of course, chapters are the key here – they do allow for a certain amount of elapsing time between them. And with Chapter 2 leaving Wick in a bit of a predicament – he’s got an international hit out on him with a huge price on his head and no longer has access to The Continental and its associated benefits – we could well find John Wick 3 skipping to a new place of refuge.
Reeves has nominated Jerusalem and writer Derek Kolstad votes Tokyo as destinations the third instalment may head to, and Stahelski doesn’t rule these out as possible locations in John Wick 3. Chapter 2 makes great use of Rome but we can certainly expect as yet unexplored places in 3.
“I think those are all good choices,” says Stahelski. “I would just say I think our world canvasses the entire world, so that leaves the door open for a lot of different places. You know, we’d like to compete with the Bond world, where it happens everywhere. No place is safe from John Wick.”
And what about casting? Who will return in the threequel?
“I think I can convince Keanu Reeves to come back,” Stahelski laughs. “I’ll say this, I know our members of The Continental are coming back. The Continental is a big part of the story. After that, we’ll see… I would put money on [the fact that] Mr. [Ian] McShane would make an appearance in John Wick 3 for sure. I think his character is very pivotal.”
McShane plays Continental boss Winston and is a key figure in the mythology that permeates the John Wick films.
And how about Laurence Fishburne, who reunited with his Matrix co-star Keanu Reeves in Chapter 2?
“We haven’t totally written the script yet – we’re still developing, still writing,” says Stahelski. “I would love to work with Laurence again. He’s one of my favourite actors of all time so if he would grace me that would be great. If he can put up with my amateur directing then yes, I would love to have him back.”
While Stahelski is reluctant to reveal any names of actors he’s keen to bring in, he says he writes interesting characters with “really great character actors in mind”. So we can look forward to seeing some exciting faces in the next instalment, if Fishburne is anything to go by. To complete the Matrix reunion, could these include Carrie Anne Moss, perhaps?
“We have a lot of ideas, I’d hate to say too much now before they’re fleshed out,” he continues. “As you know, John Wick is a world story so we don’t just have to worry about who’s in LA or New York – there’s great actors in England, there’s great actors in the Middle East, there’s great actors in Asia.
“So John Wick 3 is going to take us a few different places and I think we’ll have quite the choice. So I’m looking forward to developing all those characters.”
We’re looking forward to seeing them.
‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ is available to buy on home entertainment formats from June 12.