Now that Lionsgate has reunited the main cast and crew of the original, intoxicating revenge thriller, the studio has today confirmed that John Wick 2 will enter production this fall.
Keanu Reeves is primed to return as the one-man reign of terror, with directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski behind the camera once again. They’ll be working on a script by Derek Kolstad, who penned the screenplay for 2014’s cult hit. Indeed, this isn’t the only reunion brought about by the action sequel, what with studio Thunder Road lending financial support to John Wick 2 with the company’s Basil Iwanyk attached to produce.
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Releasing off the back of a $20 million budget, last year’s John Wick earned its reputation as a bona fide sleeper hit after it took in a box office haul of $78 million, buoyed by good word-of-mouth and a strong performance in the home video market. At its core, the film was an effective thriller of revenge and redemption, though the stunning fight choreography – using Hong Kong action cinema as a jumping off point – ensured that Leitch and Stahelski’s original wasn’t just your simply action title.
Prior to today’s confirmation of a start date, Lionsgate’s President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Jason Constantine expressed his own excitement about the sequel, and the possibilities brought about by reuniting Leitch, Stahelski, Kolstad and Reeves.
“With such tremendous fan and critical support for ‘John Wick,’ we knew that there was still so much more of this story to tell,” he said. “We are thrilled that Keanu, David and Chad have re-teamed with us and promise to bring audiences even more excitement the second time around.”
Considering that John Wick is in many ways a standalone actioner, what with the core storyline wrapped up in time for the credits rolling, it’s anyone’s guess where Lionsgate will steer the sequel. Directors Leitch and Stahelski have spoken in the past about how they view the property as a multi-title franchise, though surely its chances of becoming a series hinge on the success of John Wick 2.