10 Things We Learned at The John Wick Chapter 2 Press Conference

10 Things We Learned at The John Wick Chapter 2 Press Conference

Did we need a John Wick: Chapter 2? Yes. Yes, we did. But before I can review the film quite yet, I’ll tide you over with some snippets from the John Wick: Chapter 2 press conference I attended on Friday. The air was anxious and electric, yet all the cast and crew held themselves with enough collection and gentle consideration to calm the jitters (specifically my own).

CONFERENCE ATTENDEES: Chad Stahelski – Director, Derek Kolstad – Writer, Basil Iwanyk – Producer, Keanu Reeves – John Wick, Ian McShane – Winston, Common – Cassin, Lawrence Fishburne – The Bowery King

  1. When asked how far the production went with the extremes of its stunts, Keanu had only this to say: ‘No animals were harmed in the production of this film.”
  2. Despite being in several martial arts movies, Keanu Reaves isn’t remotely trained in any martial arts outside of his films, claiming instead to be versed in “movie kung fu.”
  3. Much was made of the on-screen reunion of Keanu Reeves and Lawrence Fishburne, who starred together in the Matrix trilogy, but according to Fishburne, both of their characters couldn’t be greater departures from their characters in their previous collaboration. Fishburne claims the primary draw of the role was falling so completely in love with the first film, saying he wanted “to play with these guys.”
  4. When asked what trepidations he had about returning to the John Wick universe, writer Derek Kolstad admitted that the secret to John Wick was playing with ambiguity and allusion, citing John Frankenheimer’s Ronin as a template: “You allude to a world, but you never show all of it. As soon as you show the shark, it’s not cool.”
  5. When asked to comment on the intensity of the film’s performances, Ian McShane said only this: “I think you’re mistaking intensity for being f***ing cold.”
  6. According to Reeves, the gunfight between him and Common after his car crashes into John Wick was improvised.
  7. After describing his aim to hit “the highs and lows. The feeling immediately after (a fight scene),” Director Stahelski said that his favorite fight scene was when Keanu Reeves and Common crash through a window only to casually share a drink together moments later.
  8. Despite the unabashed brutality of the story, writer Derek Kolstad is not a cynic. When asked to comment on the sentimentality of the character of John Wick, he told the press that he truly believes, “… the worst of us can find salvation.” The fundamental question of the first film, he says, is whether or not John Wick is a truly changed man, and he concluded, “…it’s not a matter of him being good or bad. He has found his way. That’s why people automatically gravitate towards him.”
  9. Common said that the greatest asset he brought from his career as a recording artist is shamelessness. “Being a hip-hop artist allowed me to let all of the other things you’re be embarrassed about… There’s not too much that can throw me off. I just love acting. When I was a kid, I loved going to see theater. I saw movies, but I didn’t have the courage to do it until a certain point where I hit a ceiling with music and was like, ‘Man, I need to study something I’m passionate about.’”
  10. According to Keanu, the first question most people have about the new film is, “Can’t wait to see the movie. You don’t kill another dog, do you?” But to Keanu Reeves says, “I get it… It was integral to the story because it’s a part of what’s going on in his life and that relationship, you know, (it’s) symbolic of something, the thought, and love that his wife gave him. He’s responsible for the beast. So they have… I don’t know if they have a ‘journey’ together. That sounds like a man-and-dog road movie.”

Are you excited about John Wick: Chapter 2? Good! Leave us a comment letting us know what you’re hoping to see most in the film, in theaters February 10th.

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