ByAngelo Delos Trinos, writer at
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Angelo Delos Trinos

In a time of superheroes fighting galaxy-sized threats, John Wick dared to be different by aiming a gun in enemy faces and going wild. John Wick's success surprised everyone; now a sequel to Keanu Reeves's explosive movie is only months away from release.

John Wick: Chapter 2 may be an honest to goodness action film ripped right out of the '80s and '90s, but creators of the gunslinging feature took notes from a rather unexpected source of inspiration. According to the film's director Chad Stahelski, John Wick: Chapter 2 owes quite a lot to James Cameron's Aliens, the action packed sequel to the landmark sci-fi horror movie Alien.

Check out the trailer for John Wick: Chapter 2 below.

Guns And Aliens

'John Wick' directors David Leitch (left) and Chad Stahleski (right)
'John Wick' directors David Leitch (left) and Chad Stahleski (right)

During an interview with Collider, Stahelski revealed that he asked his former co-workers in The Matrix movies and close friends the Wachowski siblings for some advice regarding sequels. While he was understandably excited to work on his first sequel, the Wachowskis warned him about the "curse of the sequel." If there anyone who knows anything about a disappointing follow-up to an otherwise great movie, it's the creators of The Matrix trilogy.

Stahelski understood this, and discussed the difficulties behind making the second part of an original work.

The reason people love you so much sometimes is because you’re original. 'John Wick' was an original twist on a classic tale, with a fancier look and a different way of telling the story... So you give away your whole hand with that, you give away originality. So how do you compete with yourself? And it’s gonna be hard. Some of the things I’ve done in scenes and shit has been awesome. Having 20 years as a stunt man nothing’s more terrifying than comparing yourself against yourself.

Keanu Reeves as John Wick
Keanu Reeves as John Wick

After some reflecting and thinking, the former stuntman finally came to the conclusion that the best way to make John Wick: Chapter 2 was to concentrate on making it a good movie instead of a good follow up.

We decided to stop competing with the first one. Once we stopped worrying about ourselves it was fun.

He then talked about how great the first two Alien movies were, despite how radically different they were from each other.

Alien was a tense horror movie set in space, while Aliens was essentially a Vietnam War film with the Xenomorphs taking the place of the North Vietnamese Army. Aliens is recognized as one of the best sequels ever made thanks to its daring tonal shift, and learning that the second part of John Wick's fight in the criminal underworld will follow in its footsteps is very promising.

Same threat, different styles
Same threat, different styles

Stahelski doubled down on the notion that John Wick: Chapter 2 will be its own movie even if it is the second part of the character's story. He did so by comparing his film series to reading a book.

That’s why we named it 'Chapter 2.' It was a like a chapter in a book. Where, if you pick up a book, you don’t have to read the beginning, you can just jump into a chapter.

Sequels And Avoiding Repetition

Sequels have a bad habit of ruining a good movie's reputation if done poorly, turning sequel-making into an artform only few can master. Success lies in the sequel's ability to add new things while keeping some parts intact, and hopefully John Wick: Chapter 2 will be able to do just that or even more. There is reason to worry about the sequel to one of the best action movies ever made, but since John Wick: Chapter 2 was made by people who understand the action genre more than anyone working in the business right now, the best may be yet to come.

Hopefully, no dogs will have to die for John Wick to return to the big screen for audiences' entertainment and desire for another ballet of bullets.

Movie Rule Number 37: Stop killing the dogs
Movie Rule Number 37: Stop killing the dogs

What do you think of the influence behind 'John Wick: Chapter 2?'


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