Tis’ the season of comebacks…or rather seasons. For the last couple years a lot of old-school actors who were not necessarily considered the cream of the crop have been getting massive resurgences in popularity. Michael Keaton returned in a blaze of glory last year with “Birdman” which garnered him his first Academy Award in his 50+ career for Best Actor. This year, as I reported earlier today, Sylvester Stallone might just use his most famous underdog character Rocky Balboa to get a long awaited Oscar that he last had a chance with with the same character 40 years ago.
But let’s let the comedy classic actor and the action icon swap stories this year at the Governors Ball. Since they might compete against each other this year in the Best Supporting Actor category (Keaton for “Spotlight” and Stallone for “Creed”), I imagine they’ll have some interesting stories to tell. But outside of the accolade world, another has been having quite a good couple years thanks to one movie. That actor of course is Keanu Reeves who, after years of mediocre films, returned last year with “John Wick”, a 2014 American neo-noir action thriller film where a retired hitman sought vengeance for the brutal theft of his vintage car and the killing of his puppy, a gift from his recently deceased wife Helen Wick (Played by Bridget Moynahan).
The film ended up being a massive success. On only a budget of $20 million, it made $130.9 million at the box office, received near critical acclaim, and was immediately greenlit for a sequel. It was an underdog in every way. To start, it was the directorial debut of Chad Stahelski and David Leitch as a team after having, over the years, multiple separate credits as second unit directors and stunt coordinators (Leitch was uncredited for his directing work in the film though). Reeves was brought on because both had previously worked with Reeves as stunt doubles on “The Matrix” trilogy where Reeves played the lead character Neo.
In my opinion, even Reeves delivered as an actor more than he had in years with a couple emotional scenes of him grieving his wife that you couldn’t believe were him. Either way, “John Wick” is Reeves’ show and he’s here to stay. This is shown in set photos that were recently released of him being filmed for a fight scene for “John Wick 2”. Check them out below:
“John Wick” was just old-fashion action fun. Besides introducing us to a insane world of assassins, we were introduced to a handful of memorable characters, particularly actor Ian McShane’s character Winston, the law-keeping owner of the Continental Hotel, a place in the story where assassins can rest and enjoy themselves before a job on the condition they don’t conduct business on the premises.
“John Wick 2” will also see the return of several minor characters from the first film such as Aurelio (Played by John Leguizamo), the owner of a high-end chop shop, and Charon (Played by Lance Reddick), the concierge at the Continental Hotel. In addition, Rapper/actor Common has been cast as a yet-to-be-announced villain, the head of security for a female crime lord who, based on the cast list, will be played by Ruby Rose.
The release date for “John Wick 2” has yet to be announced although best guess is in late 2016.