John Wick was one of the most pleasant surprises of 2014, serving as the ideal comeback vehicle for star Keanu Reeves. Thanks to its innovative "gun-fu" action sequences and surprisingly emotional story, the film grossed $86 million worldwide on just a $20 million budget, which was more than enough to green light a sequel. That followup, John Wick: Chapter 2, is just a few weeks away from its theatrical premiere, and distributor Lionsgate has been sure to raise awareness.
The studio has already unveiled a pair of trailers that tease more jaw-dropping set pieces that could rival those from the original, but now the time has come to turn marketing attention to the small screen. Today, the studio released a new TV spot for John Wick 2, which you can watch above.
Like the theatrical previews, this advertisement is light on story, but heavy on style. It is more or less a truncated version of the second trailer, as viewers see a contract to kill John Wick get sent out, and the Baba Yaga has to do all he can to live and fight another day. Glimpses of the characters played by Common and Ruby Rose are featured in the promo, and John apparently has them in his sights as he tries to survive another ordeal. Based on the footage, it appears there will be plenty of gun fights and car chases to thrill moviegoers.
Though plot details for Chapter 2 are scarce, we do know that the story involves John reuniting with his old acquaintance The Bowery King, played by Reeves' Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne. The Bowery King wishes to seize control of an international assassins guild, and due to a blood oath between the two, John is called upon to help. The first film hinted at a highly intriguing criminal underworld that begged to be explored in more installments, so it's nice that layers of Wick's past will be peeled back in the sequel. Hopefully, Chapter 2 expands the lore and mythology in interesting ways, which would pave the way for a third entry in the burgeoning series. The creative team is already working on generating ideas for a John Wick 3, so their passion for the material still runs high.
At the box office, John Wick 2 might have some rough sledding, as it will go up against Fifty Shades Darker and The LEGO Batman Movie in what is an usually packed weekend in February. Still, the first movie was able to find a sizable audience and its cult following has only grown in the years since. Odds are, this sequel will be just fine commercially, sliding into the R-rated action movie niche that both Kingsman: The Secret Service and Deadpool found great success in the past couple years. Chapter 2's final haul may not be as large as those two films, but it should be another hit for Lionsgate.
- John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) release date: Feb 10, 2017