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In the grand scheme of things, John Wick didn’t really need a sequel. The 2014 vengeance thriller was a perfectly contained little exercise in ass kicking, with Keanu Reeves playing a hitman who’s pulled out of retirement by the idiots who steal his car and kill his dog. Still, the seeds of new stories were sprinkled throughout John Wick, and now that we know a sequel is happening, the story details are starting to become clear.
Collider sat down with Keanu Reeves recently, and asked him for details about John Wick 2. The way Reeves describes it, there’s a bit of an identity crisis occurring between the man, John, and his legacy as "John Wick," the international assassin. Reeves explains:
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.
Going into John Wick’s past feels like the right move for this eventual sequel. It would be very hard to replicate the unfortunate coincidence of the initial movie, the crime that wakes John out of his "retirement" and ushers back into existence the killer who is John Wick.
And one of the things that were most interesting about John Wick -- aside from the fight choreography – was the hints at his dark and dangerous past. Especially, the scenes that involve the killer-friendly Continental hotel. Keanu Reeves tells Collider that the team behind John Wick 2 have paid attention to the fact that fans loved The Continental, and will work to revisit it in a natural way. He said:
There’s definitely that influence of the other world, the Continental world, the look, the feel, what it is about the movie, what made people like it; is definitely being paid attention to, and the world opens up in this chapter.
John Wick 2 is going into production later this year. It doesn’t yet have a release date, but could be in theaters in the second half of 2016. Keanu Reeves is the only actor signed up for the movie at the moment, and the way the story is structured, you don’t really need anyone from the first movie. You can start over. That’s what happens when you have a sequel that is appreciated, but not exactly necessary.