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In 2014's John Wick, there are multiple stories told about the legendary titular hitman, but there is one in particular that stands out. It turns out that John is so deadly that he has the ability to take out trained killers with nothing but a pencil. In the movie, we learn this bit of information from an exasperated Michael Nyqvist's Viggo Tarasov... but the number one rule in film is "showing, not telling." It's partially for this reason, and because of an effort on behalf of star Keanu Reeves, that John Wick: Chapter 2 actually does feature the eponymous killer taking out dudes with a writing utensil.
I personally learned the story behind the pencil fight in John Wick: Chapter 2 when I had the pleasure of sitting down with Keanu Reeves at the movie's Los Angeles press day earlier this month. As part of my interview, I asked the star about his personal involvement with the development of the sequel script, and whether there was anything he personally fought to be included in the story, and he explained that bringing the writing tool into the game was his idea. Said Reeves,
To answer the latter part of that, I wanted to have a pencil fight, so we have a pencil fight. I had to fight, well I didn't have to fight for that, but I kept saying, 'Where's the pencil fight?' And that was a part in the beginning and throughout the whole process, to kind of try and develop what the ideas were and the characters. Which is cool. It makes it even more personal.
Without getting into too many specifics, the pencil scene in John Wick: Chapter 2 goes down in a bar scene with Keanu Reeves' character fighting off two attackers -- and it's just as intense, badass, and kind of disgusting as you would expect the sequence to be. And even in a film that is totally filled to the brim with stunning, amazing action scenes, it still manages to stand out as one of the most memorable in the whole thing. As it turns out, Reeves' impulse to have the sequence featured in the movie absolutely paid off.
You can watch Keanu Reeves talk about including the pencil fight scene in John Wick: Chapter 2 watching the video below:
For those of you who are excited to see the action of John Wick: Chapter 2 yourself, the good news is that the wait is over. Today marks the arrival of the movie in theaters -- and even if a screening isn't in your plans yet, it should be. In the meantime, you can check out more from my interview with Keanu Reeves, read my review, and find a whole lot more John Wick goodness here on CinemaBlend.