Director Chad Stahelski Discusses Challenges Of Making A Sequel With John Wick: Chapter 2

Despite boasting Keanu Reeves’ name on the masthead, few would have predicted that John Wick, David Leitch and Chad Stahelski’s OTT R-rated romp, would go on to spawn a bona fide film series. And yet, here we are. Four months out from the release of its hotly-anticipated sequel, John Wick: Chapter 2, and Lionsgate is already drafting up ideas for a third entry in the budding action franchise. No pressure, then.

But if Stahelski is feeling the heat, it doesn’t show. Upon assuming directing duties after David Leitch made tracks for The Coldest City, the filmmaker began to slowly piece together his vision for the 2017 follow-up, one which will see Keanu Reeves’ glowering one-man army jet off to Rome to attend a “social affair.” In typical John Wick fashion, our lone wolf goes in guns blazing, and even from the teaser trailer alone, Chapter 2 looks set to dial up the electrifying action to 11.

There are some inherent challenges to crafting the sequel, though, as Chad Stahelski revealed in a candid chat with Collider.

I mean is it as good as the first one? I don’t know. Did we go better in some ways? Yes. Did we experiment with the characters more? Yes. Everything there is better. Is the enjoyment better? I think the enjoyment is there, but it’s different. All the other director friends I have don’t like doing sequels or don’t like doing other people’s sequels, which is even worse I think. But then there’s other examples. I think the best example is Ridley Scott. He did the first Alien. James Cameron created Aliens. Cameron, I think think is a genius for that. Going, “I’m not making the same Aliens again, I’m just gonna make it.” If I could be so bold as to take that similarity then so be it.

Citing James Cameron’s approach to Aliens, Stahelski went on to share his thinking behind the ‘Chapter 2’ moniker.

It was a completely conscious decision. That’s why we named it Chapter 2. It was a like a chapter in a book. Where, if you pick up a book, you don’t have to read the beginning, you can just jump into a chapter.

John Wick: Chapter 2 will pummel its way into theaters on February 10, 2017. Laurence Fishburne, Orange is the New Black star Ruby Rose and Riccardo Scamarcio topline the film’s cast of dangerous supporting players.