Keanu Reeves will return as John “Baba Yaga” Wick in John Wick 2, the sequel to the 2014 cult hit assassin thriller. Chad Stahelski directed the first John Wick installment with David Leitch; the latter is only producing the sequel (since he is also busy preparing to start production on the Cold War thriller The Coldest City), while Stahelski has already begun filming John Wick 2 from a script written yet again by Derek Kolstad.
It was previously reported that Reeves as Wick will face-off with a new professional killer played by Common in John Wick 2, but with so little known about the sequel’s plot – and given that many of the main players in John Wick were dead by the time that the film had reached its end – it’s been difficult to gauge what the rest of the movie’s cast will look like. Thankfully, shortly after reports emerged confirming that production on the next John Wick installment is underway in New York, we have more information on the project’s acting lineup.
Deadline is reporting that new additions to the franchise in John Wick 2 will include Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black), Peter Stormare (The Blacklist, Arrow), and Riccardo Scamarcio (Black Arrow, Burnt). Meanwhile, Ian McShane is reprising as Winston from John Wick, while other returning players include John Leguizamo (back as Aurelio), Bridget Moynahan (who will presumably appear in flashbacks and/or dream sequences as John’s deceased wife, Helen), Thomas Sadoski (Jimmy), and Lance Riddick as the Hotel Continental manager, Charon.
Presumably Rose, who is also appearing in the upcoming video game movie sequel Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, is playing the crime lord who Common’s character is reported to work for. Rose has been quick to work on a handful of intriguing projects here in the States and the Australian model/DJ’s role as one of the primary antagonists (if not the primary antagonist) for the John Wick sequel should only help her to further make a name for herself as an actor.
As for the other new additions: like the crew back from John Wick, they are talented character actors who ought to be fun to watch play in the B-movie sandbox established by the first installment in this new property. Indeed, part of the reason that John Wick has potential to become a great franchise is because it’s a world that begs to be expanded and explored further – which is exactly what the sequel looks to do; not just in terms of new character, but also the settings, as Deadline reports that the John Wick 2 production will move to Rome in early 2016.
It remains to be seen why the John Wick sequel will be shooting partly overseas, though Stahelski and Leitch have said their intention that their focus is on crafting another worthwhile story centered around the John Wick character – as opposed to, trying to go bigger and flashier, this time around. Hence, the change is scenery should (in theory) help to better serve that same purpose.
John Wick 2 does not currently have an official release date. We’ll let you know when that changes.