There are many reasons to be excited for John Wick: Chapter 2. The original is filled with slick, high-octane, moody, long, single-shot action scenes, which proved to be a huge gush of fresh air in comparison to its overly spliced down and tediously frenetic blockbuster rivals, and we can expect the follow-up to be just as bombastically entertaining. Of course, the fact that it will also feature the long coveted Matrix reunion, as Laurence Fishburne joins Keanu Reeves for the adventure, is just another reason to already be counting down the days until its release. But how did it come about? Well we have Keanu Reeves to thank.
During last weekend's panel to showcase John Wick: Chapter 2 in all of its glory, Laurence Fishburne's participation in the action thriller was obviously brought up. Director Chad Stahelski, who is overseeing the film by himself this time around after co-directing the original with David Leitch, who is just producing Chapter 2, revealed that the plan was always to add Laurence Fishburne to the fine array of character actors that are already in the universe. Stahelski remarked:
One of the things that we really loved about the first John Wick film was obviously that it was set in a world of assassins, and we're a big fan of character actors and it was awesome to work with them. We found Charon, Lance Reddick, in the first one. Who we absolutely loved. So we tried to round out the cast with even more iconic assassins. We've got Common and Ruby Rose. Which leads us to one of John Wick's, I guess, pseudo allies in the movie, Laurence Fishburne. You all may know that Keanu, myself and Laurence all worked together on the Matrix trilogy. So when Derrick had written the character that Laurence plays in the script, it was really written with Laurence in mind. We hadn't worked together in a very long time. Keanu gave us a nice intro when they bumped into each other.
This then provoked Keanu Reeves to recall how Laurence Fishburne's innocuous comment about how much he loved the original John Wick then led to him being offered a part in the follow-up. Reeves remarked:
Yeah, we met at a social function, and he was like, 'Hey man I really liked John Wick.' And I was like, 'Oh yeah?' So he was like, 'I'd read the script.'
Clearly Laurence Fishburne was quite taken with Derek Kolstad's script for John Wick: Chapter 2, because after a few emails back and forth, and one meeting in New York with Chad Stahelski, he signed on the dotted line and gave us The Matrix reunion that we've all been pining for since The Matrix Revolutions proved to be so disappointing back in 2003.
We'll get to see Laurence Fishburne and Keanu Reeves finally sharing the screen again in John Wick: Chapter 2, which is set just 4 days after the chaotic events of the original, when it's released on February 10, 2017.