Although the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed back the release date by a year, we are now rapidly approaching the debut of John Wick 4 and the hype, as they say, is real.
When in 2014, Keanu Reeves, first returned to the world of action movies as John Wick, no one thought it would become a series, but we knew we wanted more right away.
Seven years later, the most skilled assassin of all time heads a full-fledged three-film franchise that has effectively built a deep and detailed story surrounding an underground league of assassins with its own rules, habits and guidelines.
A few days after the release of the third installment, John Wick 3: Parabellum, Lionsgate announced that a fourth film was already on the horizon, with Keanu Reeves again in the title role.
Directing is former stuntman Chad Stahelski, while the script, the talented Mike Finch will take care of it.
Since John Wick 4 is the fourth installment in the saga, there will be SPOILERS of the plot of the previous chapters in the series in this article, so proceed with caution.
John Wick 4 was originally supposed to arrive in theaters on May 21, 2021, but there were problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Keanu Reeves ‘ scheduling conflicts with Matrix: Resurrections.
The release date, in fact, was pushed back a year, to May 27, 2022, and then again to March 24, 2023, a frustrating wait for John Wick fans, but it finally appears that the current date is the final one, given also the presence of a trailer.
John Wick 4: The Official Trailer
The first trailer for John Wick 4 was unveiled during a dedicated directors’ presentation at San Diego Comic-Con, featuring Chad Stahelski, Tim Miller and Andrew Stanton.
In addition to the new trailer, which you can see on youtube, we could also see a new poster for the film with Keanu Reeves as the absolute star, in the center of the poster as he wields nunchucks.
In addition to the return of Keanu Reeves as the lead hitman, Stahelski also recently confirmed the return of Ian McShane for John Wick 4.
“I couldn’t be happier to welcome back Ian McShane in John Wick 4,” the director said in a statement. “Not only is he an extraordinary actor, but he is an indispensable collaborator who helped define the world of John Wick.”
Other familiar faces confirmed for the fourth film are Lance Reddick and Laurence Fishburne. John Wick 4 will also feature many new faces to the franchise, including a trio of action movie legends, Donnie Yen, Scott Adkins and Marko Zaror; Bill Skarsgard, the actor who plays It, will also have a role.
Also confirmed are Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama, who will make her film debut, and the legendary Clancy Brown.
John Wick 4 is written by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch. Hatten co-wrote the third installment and Zach Schneider‘s Army of the Dead and Army of Thieves .
Finch has worked on such masterpieces as: Predators, American Assassin , and The November Man. This chapter of John Wick will be the first without any involvement from franchise creator Derek Kolstad, who revealed that he was not invited to work on the film.
In an interview, Donnie Yen, the beloved actor who starred in the saga of the Ip Man martial arts master movies, particularly emphasized how much fun he is having on the set of John Wick 4:
“I must take this opportunity to show my utmost appreciation for both Chad and Keanu. They are lovely men. They are simply gentlemen; they have a big heart. Keanu has a wonderful soul.”
“Chad, also, is a very good man. Very knowledgeable. People think he is just a brilliant stuntman, but he is not. He understands cinema. He is a film librarian. He knows what is happening in the film industry.”
“I’m having a lot more fun working with them than in all my previous Hollywood films…. Keanu Reeves is just fantastic. He is even better than I expected. He does everything by himself. He put a lot of effort into this film, and he’s not kidding at all.”
Skarsgard also emphasized how he approached the franchise as a fan and eventually joined the film after talking with Stahelski:
“I think the movies are a lot of fun. I have always been a fan of this kind of over-the-top action movie, and when Chad contacted me and told me about the movie, I liked it right away, and I accepted the role immediately. I don’t want to go into details, but it’s a very fun role.”
“I like action movies, I think they’re fun and it’s something I’ve never done before. It’s like saying, “Okay, this is a project in a genre I’ve never participated in so let’s try it and have fun.” So, I am looking forward to playing this role.”
Keanu Reeves plays, of course, the lead role of John Wick, an assassin who wears a black suit and knows about 10,000 ways to kill his target.
McShane will reprise the role of Winston, owner of the New York Continental Hotel, whom we last saw betray John Wick with a bullet in the chest. Stahelski noted that he still thinks Winston ‘s intentions are up for interpretation. “He intended to shoot him,” the director said in an interview.
“Did you want to kill him? This is open to the audience’s interpretation, the scene can be seen from two different points of view, and this is kind of how we’re going to answer some of the questions from the previous chapters, in John Wick 4.”
Lance Reddick will reprise the role of Charon, the Continental‘s upstanding concierge, while Fishburne will once again play the leader of his intelligence organization, Bowery King.
Precise details about the new characters have been rather scarce so far. In an interview, Skarsgard said his role does not require fight training, but is“something different.”
Shamier Anderson, on the other hand, posted much background on his intensive firearms training , hinting that whoever his character is, he will be in action alongside John Wick.
Marko Zaror, a very talented stuntman and martial artist , as well as an actor, will instead be one of John Wick ‘s main opponents in the film.
In June 2021, Shamier Anderson confirmed the start of production with an image from the set.
The production of John Wick 4 will take place largely outside New York City, with some filming in Berlin and Paris, before further filming in Japan and finally back to New York for the finale.
In addition, Lionsgate ‘s original plan to shoot John Wick 4 and John Wick 5 back to back was shelved because of the pandemic. The filming of John Wick 4 ended in November 2021.
Although there is still no official plot synopsis for John Wick 4, there are many speculations, some well-founded and some less so, thanks to which we can get an idea of what to expect from the plot.
The film will pick up after the final explosion of John Wick 3, which saw John completely separate himself from the assassination organization known as The High Table.
The top leadership of the organization believes that John Wick is dead, this is thanks to Winston, who shot him from the roof of a building, but in reality he was only wounded and placed in the care of Bowery King.
In an interview, Fishburne, revealed that the next film, like all previous ones, will try to dig even deeper into the stories surrounding John Wick and the mysterious organization he was a part of:
“I read the script. It is really, really beautiful. As much as it’s the same world as the other three films, it’s much deeper especially in the relationship it has with one character in particular … it’s really the heart and soul of the film.”
In a recent interview, Stahelski was also quite adamant that no matter what direction John Wick 4 takes, unfortunately, it will not have a happy ending.
“John can survive anything that happens to him, but in the end there is no happy ending. He has nowhere to go. Honestly, I challenge you to tell me how do you think the story of someone like John Wick ends?” “Do you think he will disappear off into the sunset? Did he kill 300 people and with no consequences? Will he fall in love with a woman and live happily ever after? If this man really existed, how would his story end? Would be screwed for the rest of his life. It is only a matter of time.”