It’s official: Rapper-cum-actor Common (Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr.) has landed the role of the villain in Liongate’s action sequel John Wick 2.
The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop, confirming the star’s place opposite Keanu Reeves on the eve of production getting underway, with plans in place to start shooting later this week. Chad Stahelski will take the reins of the follow-up to 2014’s sleeper hit, having co-directed the original white-knuckle ride alongside David Leitch, though the latter moved on to Coldest City, which recently enlisted Charlize Theron and James McAvoy.
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As for John Wick 2, Keanu Reeves will reprise his role as the no-nonsense ex-hitman. Having embarked on a war path during the first film, bringing a swift end to anyone and anything that stood in his way, Reeves and Stahelski are wary of retreading the same path. Instead, the actor wants to shine a light on the titular, ambiguous assassin, allowing the audience to learn more of his deadly and mythical skills.
“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.”
Beyond the general premise, there’s little-to-no information regarding John Wick 2‘s actual plot. According to THR, Common has boarded the action sequel as head of security for a female crime lord. But will the latter antagonist act as more of an off-screen puppet master, or a genuine threat to our stealthy assassin? Time will tell.