From the beginning, John Wick has been a reunion of Matrix alumni. Star Keanu Reeves, director Chad Stahelski, and producer David Leitch all worked on the Wachowski trilogy; they even started working on the concept of the Wick universe while on the set of The Matrix. But John Wick: Chapter Two takes the Matrix connections to another level, with the addition of Morpheus himself, Laurence Fishburne, to the cast.
Fishburne plays the Bowery King in the film, a prominent figure in the international society of mobsters and assassins that populate John Wick’s world. How exactly the two characters come into contact is best left to be discovered when you see the film, but let’s just say that the Bowery King is a very tough negotiator.
Not so Fishburne himself, apparently, as the process of getting him involved in John Wick: Chapter Two was as easy as it could’ve possibly been: it was his idea. Speaking at the press conference for Chapter Two, Reeves and Fishburne shared the anecdote of how the idea of Fishburne joining the franchise first came about.
Fishburne: You came up to the house.
Reeves: I came up to the house and I said, “How did you like John Wick? Did you see John Wick?”
Fishburne: You came up the house, you were training on this one, and I said, “Dude, John Wick, it was sick! Killer! You gotta put me down!” And you were like, “Oh, yeah, I’ll talk to Chad and them.”
Reeves: Yeah but hold on, wait, wait, wait, wait, it was more like, you did?
It’s funny that even Keanu Reeves is surprised remembering how little (none) convincing it took to get Fishburne on board. Sometimes, though, the prospect of being in a certain movie is just too tempting to play hard-to-get over it. After seeing how fun the first John Wick was, it’s not surprising at all that Fishburne leapt at the chance to have a part in the sequel.