John Wick was one of the surprise hits of 2014. Made on a budget of just $20 million, it amassed $43 million at the U.S. box office with a worldwide gross of $79 million. This pulpy B-movie centered around a former hit-man who comes out of retirement to track down and kill gangsters who wronged him. Featuring comic book style over-the-top violence, it was a “silly, action fantasy that entertains” and its immediate – and unexpected – success quickly earned it a sequel.
The film was made by first time directors Chad Stahelski (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and David Leitch (Jupiter Ascending) both of whom have extensive experience in stunt work. While they are both working on the development of John Wick 2, it has since been reported that Stahelski will direct the film on his own, with Leitch serving as executive producer. We now know what project Leitch has taken on in place of co-directing.
According to The Wrap, Leitch has signed on to direct the Focus Features spy thriller film The Coldest City. Charlize Theron is set to star as an MI6 spy who is sent to recover a list lost after another agent is murdered during the fall of the Berlin Wall. That list contained the names and details of all espionage offers in the city, and the failed recovery of it would be devastating both for herself and her covert organization. It is based on Antony Johnston’s best selling graphic novel of the same name.
Not only will this be the first film Leitch has directed solo, this will also be the first time Theron and Leitch have worked together. Kurt Johnstad (300: Rise of an Empire) is writing the screenplay, and Theron will also serve as producer of the film through her Denver and Delilah company. No other casting information has been released yet.
This is an exciting project for Leitch to take on, and serves to showcase his skills independent of Stahelski, while maintaining a close working relationship with him. The action spy genre seems like a good fit for his style, while still testing his abilities covering such a historic time frame. With Theron’s Academy Award-winning role in Monster, as well as critically acclaimed turns in North County and most recently Mad Max: Fury Road, she will likely be a strong lead for this thriller.
Of course, we’ll have to wait and see if Leitch can capture the same magic that propelled Wick to such success, but with the talent involved this seems very promising.
We’ll bring you more information on John Wick 2 and The Coldest City as it becomes available.
Source: The Wrap