Did you catch John Wick: Chapter Two in theaters? If you did – then you know awaiting confirmation of the clincher has been agonizing, especially with so many dangling plot threads to address. If you didn’t – well, you certainly missed out on some of the best stunt choreography in the action genre in a long while, lacking the omnipresence of CG-enhanced showdowns. Regardless if you saw the movie in theaters or not, at least we now know that pre-production is under way for the conclusion of the adrenaline-laced action trilogy.
Tommy Cook of Collider recently got to discuss the forthcoming home video release of John Wick: Chapter Two with director Chad Stahelski, who is putting the last tweaks on the anticipated release. While fans have been starved for any tidbits about a conclusion to the trilogy – though, rumors suggested talks began as early as October 2016 – Stahelski finally agreed to offer up some details. Of course fans have wanted to know if and when to expect shooting to begin for the next go-round. Stahelski gave fans a glimpse at the traction in pre-production;
“Yeah — we’re currently in the middle of writing it right now … It’s more of a how fast can we get our shit together. But I would assume that if not by the end of this year, the beginning of next year.”
While Stahelski doesn’t disclose who the “we” is in terms of the writing team one can easily figure Derek Kolstad, the writer of both films thus far, as the principal writing partner. Kolstad and Stahelski pulled the veil back to immerse audiences further in the world of John Wick. The deeper world of The Continental and how individuals obtain all those fancy trinkets and toys, the various sorts of assassins scattered about the globe and the network they cohabitate, even slight teasing John Wick’s storied history, all of this facets made Chapter Two stand way above the rest. Of course David Leitch, who co-directed the original, departed the franchise to helm Deadpool 2 and Stahelski is busy readying his reboot of Highlander at Lionsgate. How involved is Stahelski in the evolution of Chapter Three?
“Currently I’m acting as prep director. Hopefully everything will work out time wise. Of course — I would love to…”
Given that the films have succeeded given Stahelski’s capabilities in the director’s chair, I would imagine he would find the time to shoot the conclusion to the trilogy. Highlander has been gestating in development hell for several years and I’m quite sure Lionsgate would afford Stahelski another delay. Of course the size and scope of that project would involve a fair amount of CG, one thing that hasn’t diluted the frenetic action sequences of the John Wick franchise. While Chapter Two did go global, factoring in a romp through Italy without cheapening the locations with dubious blue screen, the question – or really, the concern – is if the finale will go bigger, bolder, and more expensive. Stahelski advised;
“We want, not so much to go bigger on the third one, but to show you more of the intricacies of the world… I feel like there are all these different subtleties that I skipped over in Number Two, that I’d like to go back to on [chapter three] and show you the inner workings of different parts of New York. So rather than massive set pieces, I’d like to show you cooler and more intricate ones… I think it would be a mistake budget wise and creatively to just go big and blow up a freeway. That’s not our gig. That’s a comic book or a Bond gig. We want to show you cool and intricate details. What are those little details in everyday life? Hopefully – we make people look at garbage collectors and cleaner vans and homeless people a little differently now.”
So, intricately-planned fisticuffs and shootouts in favor of explosive set pieces by way of CG? That’s great news for any fans of the old-school film-making that Stahelski strives for with John Wick. Lastly, with any sort of tragic character who is molded by the environment surrounding him, we’ve had small reveals about what sort of employment Wick had prior to becoming the fabled Boogeyman. Luckily, fans can take solace in the fact Stahelski wants to explore the more human side of John Wick;
“Yeah, definitely — but it’s about John revealing (his past). It’s not about you finding a hidden book or a secret map about who John Wick is. Anyone watching can start piecing it together. You know he’s had some serious training. Was it military? Ehh — he kind of looks military. Where’s he from? Well — he speaks all these languages. We’re giving you the pieces and I think it’s always good… Hopefully in five years, you and your buddies will talk about how ‘he’s this or he’s that.’ We’ll give you a couple more pieces and let you stitch it together.”
The wait for Chapter Two to hit store shelves has felt like an eternity. (Logan hit home video this week and only came out in theaters just under three months ago!) Awareness of the Keanu Reeves-led franchise has only exploded thanks to word of mouth and home video. John Wick: Chapter Two nearly doubled the gross of the original, taking in $166.8 worldwide against the $88.7 million earned just three years ago. The ending left Wick all on his own, save for his trusted dog, with the entire world receiving the alert a contract was placed on his head – with no restrictions. Who can be trusted? Will familiar foes be right behind him at every turn? Can his allies be trusted to hide him in the shadows? One thing for certain – we best get more of Laurence Fishburne’s Bowery King, just the all-too brief introduction in Chapter Two wasn’t enough to satisfying my appetite. Maybe a Morpheus/Neo reunion fight against the dreck of the underworld?
We’ll find out soon enough. John Wick: Chapter 2 is currently out on digital HD but, if you’re like many other movie fans, you can pick up the movie in 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray, or DVD on June 13th.