Charlize Theron talks about how seeing the first John Wick film inspired her to reach out to David Leitch to direct Atomic Blonde. The film – which hit theaters last Friday – is just the latest in a growing line of films cementing Theron as one of the greatest action stars of her generation, female or otherwise. Based on The Coldest City by Antony Johnston and Sam Hart, the film follows Theron as MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton, who is sent to East Berlin just a few weeks before the Berlin Wall will be torn down in 1989, where she meets up and butts heads with James McAvoy’s David Percival.

But once she arrives, Lorraine must fight her way through all kinds of enemies, in order to retrieve a list of all KGB, CIA, and MI6 agents working undercover before it gives the KGB enough ammunition to keep the Cold War going forever. After receiving mostly positive early reviews leading up to its release, Atomic Blonde has been performing fairly well for itself at the box office, even despite facing off against more mainstream titles like The Emoji Movie and Dunkirk.

While recently appearing on The Bill Simmons Podcast, Theron revealed it was actually only after she had seen the first John Wick film that she began discussing making Atomic Blonde with director David Leitch, who had co-directed the first Wick with Chad Stahelski:

“I like those movies. It was actually because of the first one that I reached out to David Leitch, the director, he was one of the directors of the first John Wick. I am a huge fan of those films, and I think Keanu is incredible in that whole genre.”

While on the surface, Atomic Blonde has the plot and setting that would make it seem more like a John le Carré spy novel than a John Wick-style action thriller, it’s clear by Theron’s comments here that she was more interested in it being the latter from the very beginning. And indeed, Leitch managed to infuse the same style and eye for action choreography that he brought to John Wick into Atomic Blonde, with the film even reuniting him with cinematographer, Jonathan Sela.

The film’s combination of traditional espionage elements and John Wick style has not necessarily won over everyone who’s seen it up until this point, but Atomic Blonde has still managed to garner universal acclaim for both its impressive action setpieces and Theron’s lead performance as Broughton. There have even been conversations of a possible crossover featuring Theron’s Broughton and Keanu Reeves’ Wick, though, the likelihood of it actually happening is small, to say the least. And should Atomic Blonde do well enough to spawn a sequel or two, it’s incredibly possible that Lorraine Broughton could turn out to be for Theron, what John Wick has been for Reeves.

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Atomic Blonde Director Discusses John Wick Crossover

Director David Leitch has offered his thoughts on the prospect of a crossover between Charlize Theron’s Atomic Blonde and the John Wick franchise. Theron has certainly played an interesting variety of roles over the course of her two-decade career in Hollywood. First gaining major attention for playing Keanu Reeves’ doomed wife in 1997’s The Devil’s Advocate, Theron has also won an Oscar for playing serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster; portrayed icy corporate executive Meredith Vickers in Prometheus, and cracked wise with Seth McFarlane in A Million Days to Die in the West, among dozens of other roles.

In 2015, Theron cemented herself as a badass action star via the role of Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road, one of the most acclaimed films of that year. This weekend, Theron will continue her recent turn toward action with Leitch’s Atomic Blonde, which casts her as elite MI6 spy Lorraine Broughton. The packed cast also features James McAvoy as an ally of Lorraine’s, John Goodman as a CIA agent, Mummy star Sofia Boutella as a French spy, and IT‘s future Pennywise the Clown actor Bill Skarsgard in a small supporting role.

Atomic Blonde represents Leitch’s first solo directorial effort, after co-directing the first John Wick film with Chad Stahelski. Leitch didn’t return for John Wick: Chapter 2, but remains involved with that franchise as an executive producer. During a chat with SR, Leitch was asked about the possibility of eventually crossing over Theron’s titular Atomic Blonde with Reeves’ formerly retired assassin Wick. Here’s what he had to say:

“(Laugh) It would be great! I get this question once in a while, and I think it’s just more their time period lines. I would absolutely do it. Maybe there’s a time we see versions, or there’s uh, you know, the other real fantasy is that maybe there’s a project with both, that a new idea. You know, that Charlize and Keanu could…, a story that we could have with the same action space and we can see them either partner up or go toe to toe.”

While Atomic Blonde and John Wick have different distributors, they both count 87eleven – co-founded by Stahelski and Leitch – as a production company, so it’s not necessarily hard to imagine a scenario where the two characters are combined. Of course, as alluded to by Leitch, one creative stumbling block might be that Atomic Blonde is set in 1989, near the end of the Cold War and the ensuing fall of the Soviet Union. Wick’s adventures appear to take place in present day, albeit clearly within a world that’s not quite conventional reality.

Despite his perpetually youthful appearance though, Reeves is 11 years older than Theron, so it’s possible a scenario could be invented where a mid to late 20s Wick was early into his career as an assassin in the time period that Atomic Blonde operates in, facilitating a crossover of the two characters. Of course, steps would need to be taken to make Reeves look noticeably younger. That’s just one idea though, and one assumes that if Leitch and Stahelski really wanted to make it happen creatively, they could. At that point it would be more a question of getting the former Devil’s Advocate co-stars to sign on the dotted line.