Panels and Q&A for Power Rangers and John Wick: Chapter 2
Madison Square Garden was packed with fans in excitement as Lionsgate had a huge panel to promote their upcoming releases Power Rangers and John Wick: Chapter 2. Both of these films showed off their new trailers and brought in the whole cast to discuss the process of making the film and what fans can expect when they release next year.
Power Rangers kicked things off by introducing director Dean Israelite and the five main actors stepping into these iconic characters that fans have adored for so long. Dean began the conversation on his knowledge of the franchise, being a fan of the series, and making sure the reboot stayed true in spirit to the original. At the same time, the director addressed that this is a character-driven origin story about growing up and facing real problems as a teen.
It was pretty easy to see how well the chemistry is for the five main leads on and off camera. It seemed like they were comfortable with each other since their first meet. Dacre Montgomery, who plays Jason and the Red Ranger, said that he formed a WhatsApp chat group so everyone can get to know one another before they start filming.
The actors also touched on their training regiment and the challenges that came with it. Naomi Scott talked about her experience learning to fight for her character Kimberly. She shared the story of how she accidently punched someone in the face during the first days of filming. Becky G, who portrays Trini agreed that they all had to train a lot and did some of their own stunts during the shoot.
Ludi Lin and RJ Cyler, who play Zack and Billy talked about their training regiment and their characters. Lin felt excited on doing the film, saying he felt as if he was being a superhero. Cutler, on the other hand, said he was more of the guy who runs from danger like his character but he does it with some careful strategizing. Cutler also added that he loved to make it look like he was fighting on screen.
The cast even mentioned working with the Zords. Dean discussed the set up for the Zords by making the cockpits and how fun it was for the team to be on them as if it were a roller coaster ride. Dean added that the Zords won’t be a major part of the film, but they will be making an appearance. Becky went on to say that the Zords work differently for them to show their individuality, but they end up working well together. The actress also gave a shout out to Elizabeth Banks, saying she did an amazing job portraying villain Rita Repulsa. Even though the actress couldn’t make it, she delivered a message to the fans and unveiled the teaser trailer.
For the Q&A, most of the questions were on the five young actors’ characters and their friendship on screen and off. Each of the actors got to talk about their favorite character trait. They also got to touch on playing their characters for the first time and being in costume. Dacre mentioned he loved the effects that went into the movie as the landscape of filmmaking has changed in recent years with the slate of superhero movies that came out. Lin said he loved getting to play a superhero and being able to share the message that anyone can be a hero. Dacre mentioned that we will be seeing Zordon, Alpha 5, and even Rita’s henchman Goldar in the film. The cast decided to have the trailer shown again as they all embraced one another and strikes a pose for the fans.
Fans were soon blown away by what is to be another amazing film by Keanu Reeves with John Wick: Chapter 2. Actors Common, Ian McShane, director Chad Stahlenski, producer Basil Iwanyk, and screenwriter Derek Kolstad joined the star on stage. The panel showed a behind-the-scenes reel of some of the action being shot for the sequel. The second John Wick film was full of gun-fu and a bit of what the director calls ‘Car-fu’.
Kolstad explained at the panel why John Wick was in need of a sequel. He explained that John took a blood oath in order to get out of the business, but since he killed Viggo Tarasov in the last film, the person he made that oath to will return. The item in question is The Marker, which is something that was made by The Continental, the assassin organization that Wick worked for. So with Wick coming out of retirement, the person he gave an oath to will want to cash in. However, John Wick has changed since then.
The surprising development from Kolstad was that the sequel will actually take place four days after the original film. It does make sense that the film takes places immediately where the first one ended as the person with the blood oath won’t waste any time. Another development that’s a mystery is the fate of John’s new dog. If you remember from the end of the first film, John adopted a pitbull. Iwanyk joked about having people coming up to him saying if he was going to kill the dog again in the sequel. However, the producer won’t spill any secrets on the dog’s fate until the movie premieres. He did say that there would be a lot of death in the sequel.
There are some new characters that appear in the film. Common is the new player in the game as he plays a hitman who ends up fighting John, but he isn’t particularly the bad guy here. Common says that his character and Reeves’ will face some disagreements and share some different points of view. One of the biggest surprises was the addition of Laurence Fishburne into the cast. After working with him on The Matrix Triilogy, Stahelski and Reeves got to work with Fishburne again in a sort of reunion. The two guys will be playing allies in some sense as shown in the trailer. Stahlenski said that he wrote the part with Fishburne in mind to play him.
Reeves promised that fans will learn more about his lifestyle and how Wick got into the organization and perhaps the group itself. Common said that he was a fan of the first film, so he was excited to come on board. Before ending the panel, the fans got to see the trailer again making them excited for it’s release next year.
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