Nobody expected John Wick to become such a phenomenon when it landed on the scene in the fall of 2014. A small-scale revenge thriller, the Keanu Reeve fronted action movie made a serious impression on audiences with its relatively simple story, its immaculately crafted action sequences, and (most of all) its utter dedication to creating an authentic, lived-in world of killers, thugs, and bad guys. Despite the fact that it was produced on a shoestring budget of roughly $20 million, John Wick became a bona fide R-rated hit by grossing $86 million worldwide. Beyond that, the film also performed incredibly well with critics, garnering an 85% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes -- no easy feat for an R-rated action movie.

With that combined commercial and critical acclaim, it only made sense that a sequel quickly entered development. The John Wick sequel -- appropriately titled John Wick: Chapter 2 -- will hit theaters in 2017, and it's quickly become one of the most highly anticipated action movies of the coming year. We cannot even begin to express our excitement for John Wick 2, and as such we have taken it upon ourselves to compile all of the information we can regarding its upcoming release. Now let's get started with one of the most basic, and yet most important, elements of the upcoming John Wick sequel: the story...

John Wick with puppy

What Is The John Wick 2 Story?

The original John Wick deserves quite a bit of credit. The filmmakers really tied up the story so neatly that none of us can really figure out where a sequel could possibly go. Mr. Wick got everything he needed out of the events of the original film; the men who killed his beloved beagle were punished, and he managed to walk (read: limp) into the night with a new canine companion to take care of. Now it seems that the sequel will take the basic DNA of the original, and send it in a very new direction. The overarching narrative of John Wick 2 will see the titular killer once again come out of retirement due to a blood oath he owes a former associate. This commitment will see him travel away from his home in New York to Europe in order to face off against a group of ruthless killers intent on taking over the underground assassin's guild. You know that this means: more carnage.

With that in mind, it sounds like the next John Wick will draw from John Wick's past for its conflict, and that means we will get far more insight into the mind of the character himself. Keanu Reeves recently revealed that the film would deal with the duality of Wick. There's "John," the docile man who spent five years married to the love of his life. Then there's "John Wick," the deadly assassin feared by the entire criminal underworld. Something from John's past will come back to haunt him in John Wick: Chapter 2, and the John Wick side of his personality steps in to fight for his survival.

John Wick with bloody face and gun

When Is The John Wick 2 Release Date?

Although the original John Wick was a fall release (hitting theaters on October 24, 2014), it seems that John Wick: Chapter 2 will switch things up a bit and opt to hit theaters in late winter. According to Box Office Mojo, John Wick: Chapter 2 will hit theaters on February 10, 2017. Just in time for Valentine's Day, obviously.

In previous years, releasing a major R-rated action movie like John Wick: Chapter 2 in the middle of February would've seemed like a generally odd endeavor for a studio. However, the recent success of Deadpool showed us that audiences will turn out in droves for a solid action blockbuster during the shortest month of the year if it's worth it. We're not saying that John Wick 2 will rival the success of Deadpool, but anticipation for it is very, very high.

John Wick kneeling with gun

Who Is The Director Of John Wick 2?

If it isn't broken, then don't fix it. Behind the scenes everything worked perfectly on the first John Wick, and it seems that nobody has any intention of changing horses midstream. Keeping that in mind, Chad Stahelski will once again return behind the camera to helm the next installment in John Wick's story. Additionally, his uncredited co-director from the original John Wick, David Leitch, has also opted to stay onboard as a producer for the upcoming sequel. Considering the quality of the action as well as the performances, in the original John Wick, the decision to bring these two back should instill quite a bit of confidence in audiences.

In addition to Chad Stahelski's return as franchise director, John Wick: Chapter 2 has also brought screenwriter Derek Kolstad back to pen the film's script. With so many familiar elements returning to the fray, we have a feeling that Chapter 2 will truly feel like a proper sequel.

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