Filmmakers Chad Stahelski and David Leitch (John Wick) have discussed collaborating for a future project. During an exclusive Screen Rant interview, Leitch spoke about the duo’s long-time friendship, along with his new film Hobbs & Shaw.
Early in Stahelski’s career, he served as the stunt double for the late Brandon Lee in The Crow. Lee - the son of martial arts icon Bruce Lee - tragically passed away during The Crow's production. Meanwhile, Leitch commenced his stuntman career during the mid-90s, ultimately landing gigs on films such as Blade and Fight Club before working on 19 episodes of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For The Matrix trilogy, Stahelski worked as Keanu Reeves’ stunt double, while Leitch joined the stunt crew for two of the three films. The pair collaborated once again with Lana and Lilly Wachowski for the 2009 feature Ninja Assassin, serving as the second-unit directors and stunt coordinators. For the 2014 action thriller John Wick, Leitch and Stahelski reunited with Reeves, and co-directed together.
During an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Leitch said that he and Stahelski are “like brothers," and “there's always talk of coming together to do something big.” Earlier this year, Stahelski released his third feature, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, which was produced for $75 million and earned over $319 million at the box office. Meanwhile, Leitch has directed blockbusters such as Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, and the newly released Hobbs & Shaw, a spinoff of the Fast and Furious franchise. Though Leitch is currently planning ahead for the features Undying Love and The Division, he seems ready to collaborate with Stahelski in the near future:
“There's always talk of what we can do together and how we can be partnering up. I think what's happened with our careers is really great. It's not unlike what happened with our second unit careers. We started to direct second unit together, and then the opportunities just got so big that we split up and did our own things.”
For the 2016 MCU film Captain America: Civil War, Leitch and Stahelski reportedly lended their stunt expertise at the request of directors Anthony and Joe Russo. According to the latter sibling, “Just as friends, we asked them if they’d come out and help us execute some of the action sequences along with Spiro Razatos, who’s generally regarded as the top guy along with Chad and Dave.” For the aforementioned Deadpool 2, Stahelski worked as part of Leitch's stunt team. In the past, Leitch served as Brad Pitt’s stunt double in five films, and was most recently the stunt coordinator on Jupiter Ascending and the uncredited action choreographer for select scenes in Hitman: Agent 47.
After 20 years of friendship and industry experience, Leitch and Stahelski have already proven themselves to be a formidable directing duo. John Wick launched an entire franchise, and allowed both filmmakers to pursue even bigger opportunities. Moving forward, a blockbuster reunion seems inevitable, whether it’s a future John Wick installment or a Marvel project. For now, we'll have to see if Leitch's Hobbs & Shaw lives up to its $200 million budget.