A sequel to last year’s straight-forward though stylish, giddily kinetic revenge actioner, “John Wick” (a film I liked, and watch from time to time, whenever it’s on any of the premium cable TV channels I subscribe to), is currently in production.
The relatively low budget – $20 million – film wasn’t exactly a box office blockbuster, grossing $43 million domestic – although it tacked on another $35 million in international ticket sales. Still, for a $20 million movie (and that figure doesn’t include P&A costs) starring a *name* actor in Keanu Reeves, it wasn’t what you’d call a box office smash for the studio, Lionsgate.
I think it’s one of those films that will go on to become a cult classic, given that it appears many (who skipped it at the theater) may have discovered the movie – with its awesome action set-pieces, and just a fun film to watch – on home video, after the fact.
But, yes, Lionsgate is indeed developing a sequel to “John Wick,” with Reeves returning in what looks to become a franchise opportunity for the mini-major studio, and the film’s star.
Today brings news (courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter) that rapper-turned-actor Common has joined the cast of “John Wick 2” to play the movie’s main villain, interestingly enough. Plot details are being kept underwraps for now, although THR says Common’s chief villain will be head of security for a female crime lord.
The first film was co-directed by David Leitch and Chad Stahelski; but Stahelski will direct the sequel solo, which is set to begin shooting this week. No official release date set yet, although it’ll likely be out some time in 2016.
Common will next be seen on the big screen in the ensemble cast “Suicide Squad,” as well as Barbershop 3 and, on the small screen in “The Wiz Live!,” a live television production of the 1975 musical “The Wiz.”
To be frank, he wouldn’t be the first name I’d think of for this particular role in “John Wick 2,” but good luck to him regardless. And I hope he delivers what’s necessary.