Extraction 2 Director on Expanding Tyler Rake’s World for Future Stories

Eric Goldman
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Extraction 2 has arrived on Netflix, bringing back Chris Hemsworth for another truly action-packed adventure as mercenary Tyler Rake. Returning behind the camera is Sam Hargrave, the accomplished stuntman and stunt coordinator turned director, once more working from a script from Joe Russo (Joe and his brother and fellow Avengers: Endgame director Anthony Russo also serve as producers) to put Tyler into one wild and brutal situation after another.

Hargrave spoke to Fandom about earning Tyler Rake’s return, building out his team, introducing new elements – including Idris Elba’s mysterious character – and more, including another epic oner sequence.


Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake in Extraction 2

The original Extraction ended in an ambiguous manner, with Tyler, after receiving a tremendous amount of injuries in battle, falling off a bridge, seemingly to his death – though with a hint that he may have survived. Obviously the existence of Extraction 2 means we now know for sure Tyler did make it, but it still stands out when the film opens with several scenes showing the work it takes to get Tyler back on his feet, from surgery to physical therapy, in a way that is often skipped over for action heroes.

Regarding including this, Hargrave remarked, “Tyler Rake isn’t a superhero. He’s an extraordinary human in these wild circumstances, but he very much hurts, feels pain, bleeds, and his emotional vulnerability. So we wanted to show all the different sides to him. Because we beat him up so badly in the first movie, audiences would kind of call BS if he just showed back up and [went] right back to work and said, ‘No problem, I’m fine.’ So we wanted to make sure that we had to slowly build his strength back up and even his will to live, because we wanted to be truthful the arc of the first movie where he kind of was at a place of peace. He finally gave his life for this kid and redeemed his past and his mind.”

As Hargrave noted, by the end of the first movie, Rake had accepted what he thought was his imminent death, meaning in the second film, Hargrave said, he’d naturally wonder, “’Why am I here?’ It was very important for us to honor that first movie, and to make sure that we showed the struggle of getting back to the Tyler Rake that we see in the trailers.”


(L-R) Golshifteh Farahani as Nik Khan and Adam Bessa as Yaz in Extraction 2.

One thing that is quite different about Extraction 2 from the original is the much bigger role for sister and brother duo Nik (Golshifteh Farahani) and Yaz (Adam Bessa). Unlike the behind the scenes position we saw them take in the first film, this time out they are right alongside Tyler for much of the action, proving to be active – and skilled – participants in the field.

Hargrave said that for the sequel, “We wanted to show the audience that they were very capable and the reason Tyler Rake teams up with them is not just because they’re pretty faces or they have a humorous line here and there. They are his equal and when push comes to shove and it’s time to throw down, they can do it right alongside Tyler Rake. And we felt that was very important to go deeper with their skill set and that relationship. I think a lot of that character development through action we definitely dove into much more deeply and give each one of the characters their own time to shine.”

Hargrave described Farahani and Khan as “surprised and excited” to discover the much more physical nature of their characters in Extraction 2, explaining,“Golshifteh, she loves the physical process of these roles. She threw herself in with reckless abandon. She would spend four or five hours in the gym with the stunt team. She couldn’t get enough. She loved it. And Adam is a really quick study. He was a footballer beforehand and a really fast learner, quick twitch muscles. He was really fun to work with. I think everyone enjoyed it and I think that’s a lot of the reasons why actors really dive into roles like this is because it’s something that challenges them and pushes them physically. And it helps them just dive deeper into their craft as actors.”


(L-R) Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake and Tinatin Dalakishvili as Ketevan in Extraction 2

The mission Tyler is sent on this time out is highly personal, as he’s attempts to rescue his former sister-in-law, Ketevan (Tinatin Dalakishvili) and her two children. The first film provided some of Tyler’s backstory, but Hargrove said they embraced getting to tackle more this time through his mission, noting, “It was almost like telling an origin story again, because you’re kind of bringing this character back to life.”

Hargrave elaborated, “A lot of what we didn’t see on screen in the first movie were things that we spoke about behind the scenes, with Chris and Joe and myself [asking] what is it that makes this guy tick? What are these connections? And so to be able to put that up on the screen and talk about it and dive into what it is that makes Tyler Rake who he is and what are his relationships, that was very exciting. I think it helps audiences relate to him as a human being much more, so that when we get into these wild action sequences, the investment is there and people will go along for the ride.”


Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake in Extraction 2

An incredibly well received part of the first film was the ambitious and exciting 12-minute “oner,” following the action in a single shot. Like most oners — especially one with as many action beats as the one in Extraction — there are actually several cuts, but still, seeing Tyler Rake go through so many different obstacles in real time, with the feeling that we never leave the action, was a thrilling aspect of the movie.

Extraction 2 goes even further in this regard, with a 21-minute oner sequence – one that goes even further when it comes to taking Tyler and his team through all different kinds of conflicts and involves numerous different vehicles (not to mention a ton of extras). And this time, it happens during the actual title event, the extraction that kicks the film into high gear, after an extended set up.

Hargrave said when they began to show Extraction to people, “Once we saw the positive reaction to the oner in the first film, the first idea for the second movie that Joe pitched to me was ‘Hey, I think if we do the second movie, we’ve to do a crazy extraction from a prison as a oner.’ I was like ‘Okay, that sounds amazing. What’s the rest of the story?’ And then from there, it grew and expanded and became something fun and unique. But that was the first inkling that we were going to do a second movie. So I think once the reaction was positive, it kind of became a bit of a part of the DNA of this franchise, of taking an extraction and doing that in real time in a one shot, or stitched together to appear like one shot as an immersive experience for the audience.”


Director Sam Hargrave on the set of Extraction 2

The first Extraction could have been a single story, especially given its ending, but Extraction 2 begins to build out the world in notable ways and features a much more direct set up for what could come next.

As Hargrave explained, “I think once we got the idea that people were responding positively to this character and the extraction universe, the wheels began to turn of ‘how can we expand it?’ What was it about that universe that people responded to so positively? And how could we give them more of that? How could we, in the sequel, learn more about these characters and lay down some Easter eggs and little hints at backstories for these different characters and introduce new characters that have their own journey that could go on.”

He added, “I think a lot of that has to do with the time that Joe and Anthony Russo spent with the Marvel Universe, and seeing how all of those characters can come together in a very organic way. And fans will respond very positively because I think a lot of it has to do with the connection. Once you spend this much time with these characters, and you’re invested emotionally, you want to continue that. I think it’s the reason why certain TV series becomes so beloved, is you get to learn more about these people as time goes on. And I think that’s a very interesting way to look at feature film universes of like how to expand these things, and interweave them in one large tapestry.”

Idris Elba as Alcott in Extraction 2

It’s hard not to assume a big part of that tapestry going forward might include Chris Hemsworth’s fellow Thor series alumni, Idris Elba, who shows up in a couple of scenes in Extraction 2 as a knowledgeable fellow named Alcott. So might a potential third film not just give Elba more screen time but let him join in on the action?

Said Hargrave, “Hey, if we see this character again, we would definitely be trying to stretch his physical skills repertoire, that’s for sure. But who knows? I think we’re waiting to see how people respond to this second film, and then kind of judge based on that whether or not we dive into a third movie with Tyler Rake, and potentially this Idris Elba character…”

Extraction 2 is now streaming on Netflix.

Eric Goldman
Eric Goldman is Managing Editor for Fandom. He's a bit obsessed with Star Wars, Marvel, Disney, theme parks, and horror movies... and a few other things. Too many, TBH.