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Podcast Episode 109: Chad Stahelski And 'John Wick 2' Raise The Bar On American Action

Shooting action on the set of "John Wick: Chapter 2."
Summit Entertainment
Shooting action on the set of "John Wick: Chapter 2."

Stuntman-turned-director redefines American action

109: How Chad Stahelski And 'John Wick' Are Changing American Action
Episode 109: How Chad Stahelski And 'John Wick' Are Changing American ActionStuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski is raising the bar on American action with his "John Wick" films. I speak with Stahelski, actor Common, and author Bey Logan about what these changes are all about. Subscribe to the Cinema Junkie podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcatcher.Support the podcast at

With "John Wick: Chapter 2," stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski proves that he knows what's best for American action films.

When Chad Stahelski worked on "The Matrix" with Hong Kong action choreographer Yuen Woo Ping, his eyes were opened to a whole new way of making movies. He observed, asked a lot of questions, and when opportunity came knocking, he was prepared to kick some ass.

Opportunity came through an offer from actor Keanu Reeves with whom Stahelski had worked and had stunt doubled for. Reeves had a project that was perfect. It was called "John Wick" and it was the story of a hit man who comes out of retirement to avenge the death of his puppy.

Stahelski with his 87Eleven partner David Leitch turned "John Wick" into a non-stop action thrill ride that became a surprise hit in 2014. Now Stahelski is back with "John Wick: Chapter 2" and he is raising the bar even higher with phenomenal car stunts, breathtaking fights, and a new brand of action he calls "gun fu."

For this podcast I speak with Stahelski about his successful move from stunt man to director and about how he is changing the way American action films are made. I also speak with Common, who plays one of John Wick's adversaries and with Bey Logan (author of the seminal "Hong Kong Action") about what Stahelski is doing right.