10 things that we really want to see from the new John Wick TV show
The Boogeyman is back!
"People keep asking if I'm back and I haven't really had an answer...But now, yeah, I'm thinkin' I'm back!"
With the news that the sublime John Wick is headed to the small screen, fans of the action classic are more excited than a hitman on payday at the prospect of some absolute carnage. With a third film also coming, the universe of John Wick is set to be expanded in the TV show as we're promised "a hyper-real version of Los Angeles" that revolves around The Continental - the titular assassins-only hotel.
We've also been told that Keanu Reeves will reprise his role "at some point" in the series. Lock and load!
All things considered, we're absolutely pumped to see what's in store but we have some things that we'd like to see.
1) John's backstory
Who wouldn't love to see what unfolded during the 'impossible job' that the Russian's gave John? Christ, there must be some amount of bodies! As Viggo Tarasov said: "The bodies he buried that day laid the foundation of what we are now."
Also, John's decision to make a deal with the devil, Santino D'Antonio, that got him out of the hitman life but left him with 'a mark' must have been pretty shady. There's plenty of conflict here that's yet to be explored. All this without mentioning the more humane moments that he had with his wife before she died.
Truth be told, we just want to see that scene where John killed three guys in a bar with a pencil. A f**king pencil!
2) A new central hero
Keanu Reeves is a massive star and it's unlikely that he'll put his movie career on hold to take a recurring role in the John Wick TV show. We expect him to be more of a 'cameo' figure that pops in and out when he pleases.
Hell, he's John Wick..he can do what he likes!
On this note, the show better cast a strong replacement in the main role. Perhaps the show could revolve around a younger version of Winston and how he ultimately develops a relationship with John? Now wouldn't that be interesting?
3) The High Table
The central authority of villainy was introduced in Chapter Two and it immediately gave the world of John Wick an intentionally grander, more serious scale. This shadowy organisation that controls the biggest and baddest council of high-level crime lords on Earth is ripe for exploring.
Italian Mafia, Russian crime lords, Chinese triads, Japanese yakuza, Mexican cartels, sinister bankers, corrupt politicians. Who exactly are these people? Perfect new villains and characters, that's who.
4) The 'international' Continental
We've already seen that there's a Continental hotel in LA and Rome, but wouldn't it be cool if each season was set in a new hotel in a new country? London, Paris, Shanghai etc - it would also tie in with the international makeup of The High Table. Ok, the first season is set in America - a smart move as audiences and fans are already familiar with that location and it's a good way to get them back into the world - but if the show is a hit, why not broaden the horizon?
Look at the success of shows like Narcos, Gomorrah, and Romanzo Criminale. There are endless possibilities that you could use and it would limit the chances of the show getting stale. New location, new energy etc.
If they use this approach, the franchise could rival Bourne and Bond in terms of its international scope.
5) Develop the main characters we know.
Despite the 'unsavory' events that unfolded in John Wick: Chapter Two - John shooting Santino in the head and being banned from The Continental - there's clearly a great deal of admiration and respect between both men.
Hell, Ian McShane's hotelier is the only man that can call him Jonathan and get away with it. How did they meet? Why does Winston feel like he has to protect John? As mentioned previously, he hasn't just stumbled into this shady world. Our money is that Winston was a hitman that managed to get out. After all, he's very comfortable in that environment.
Polite, professional and trustworthy. This maître d has clearly lived and seen things that you wouldn't believe. He's the keeper of all secrets and just like Winston, he shares an unspoken bond with John. Perhaps, he too managed to get out and seek a quieter life behind that desk? Does anyone else get the impression that he can REALLY handle himself? After all, it's Daniels from The Wire!
The man that rules the underground network of New York, Laurence Fishburne's network of homeless spies proved to be invaluable for John Wick. What's their previous relationship? Like John, was he a previous guest at The Continental that saw his membership revoked? After all, he turned down seven million dollars for John's life. They must have a history.
All this without mentioning the history that John has with John Leguizamo (Aurelio), Willem Dafoe (Marcus) and that very knowing look he gave the assassins as he first entered and scanned the clientele of The Continental cocktail club.
6) How the rules came into being
It's clear that assassins must abide by a strict code, but how did they come into being? Given the fact that you're dealing with some of the most cold-blooded killers in place, what punishment/laws are in place to keep unscrupulous individuals in place?
How old are they? Who enforces them? What's accepable/unacceptable? What other rules do The Continental have?
7) The broader world
Ah, the gold coins. Cast your mind back to the first film. Remember that scene when the police officer responds to the call reporting a domestic disturbance? He asks if John's "back working" and after seeing the dead bodies, he merely shrugs it off. It's clear that John operates within the knowledge of the local law enforcement, but what kind of pact do they have?
Do police officers just turn a blind eye to assassins. Hell, this order of hitmen might even outdate what we all recognise as the police force?
The same thing applies to the private company that disposed of the bodies.
8) Tailor the story to TV
TV has so many advantages over film and the main one is in terms of its storytelling. While the John Wick films are extraordinary at maintaining your attention for 90 minutes, a ten-episode TV series will require more depth to the characters and a more complex and twisting plot. While it's tempting to have an hour of non-stop action on screen, it could easily get repetitive and any John Wick TV show will probably have to use the action sparingly.
Truth be told, action is meaningless unless you care about the characters.
9) Use the budget
Daredevil showed that amazing fight sequences aren't strictly the domain of films. The John Wick movies have a massive budget to stretch on car chases, epic shootouts, and massive explosions - the TV show should focus its energy on nailing one thing, choreography.
Memorable action doesn't have to involve gigantic robots that are blowing up New York for the 172nd time, take a look at The Raid for inspiration. Tight camera work, inventive set pieces, and bone-crunching blows. That's all we ask for.
10) More dogs.
Just don't kill them. You know what happens when John sees a dead animal. They don't call him They call him Baba Yaga for nothing!