When February rolls around, fans will be treated to John Wick: Chapter 2. The sequel will follow the franchise's hitman hero as he's forced out of retirement and asked to showdown with some deadly assassins. Fans have been waiting for updates on the film for some time now, and their wishes have been answered lately through a slew of announcements. And, now, those fans are being gifted with some exclusive photos courtesy of Empire.
The site posted two new photos from the film which showoff Keanu Reeves in action. Dressed in a sharp suit, fans can see the actor walking towards the camera. His face is littered with cuts and bruises, no doubt signaling he's been off kicking some bad guy butt. But, really, it's a wonder that none of the pedestrians walking alongside him aren't more perturbed by his beaten look.
The second photo is a bit more trippy as it is set in a hall of mirrors. Featuring newcomers Riccardo Scamarcio and Ruby Rose, the image shows the baddies as they are perched high on a glass walkway. Reeves talked to the site about the photo's set in particular, revealing it was director Chad Stahelski's idea.
"The mirror room was Chad's idea," Reeves explained. "It's his homage to Bruce Lee at the end of Enter The Dragon. The whole installation is a maze of mirrors where guys can pop out and disappear. It's very cool and a lot of fun to fight in."
As for where the director's inspiration came from, it all comes down to Asian cinema and martial arts aesthetics. Stahelski said, "You go watch any of the great Hong Kong guys. [You're watching] wider shots; you're watching an extremely talented individual. If you're using fast editing to hide things, I call bullshit. That's cheating. Luckily, we have a cast member that can do it. Keanu's been doing martial arts for 25 years. He's been trained by us, he's been trained by Yuen Wo Ping. He's been trained by Chen Yen."
Clearly, the director is planning on borrowing from Eastern movies and their glorious depiction of fight sequences. Earlier this year, Stahleski stressed John Wick: Chapter 2 would feature more action and stuntwork than ever before.
"I would say we had twice as much action as the first movie," Stahleski told Entertainment Weekly. "We took it all a full notch up as far as the driving car stuff went. A great portion of the car chase in the opening of the film is Keanu, which is very impressive."
Keanu Reeves returns in the sequel to the 2014 hit as legendary hitman John Wick who is forced to back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins' guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world's deadliest killers.
The cast features Keanu Reeves, John Leguizamo, Lance Reddick, Bridget Moynahan, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Ruby Rose, Common, Peter Stormare, and Riccardo Scamarcio.
John Wick: Chapter 2 arrives in theaters on February 10, 2017.