When John Wick came out in 2014, nobody could have predicted that it would spawn a globally successful franchise with multiple sequels and spinoffs. The film helped ex-stuntmen Chad Stahelski and David Leitch establish themselves as film directors to be reckoned with. In John Wick, Keanu played the eponymous hero, a former hitman mourning the loss of his wife who goes on a vengeance-fueled rampage after Russian gangsters break into his home, steal his vintage Ford Mustang, and kill his dog, the dog happened to be his wife’s last gift. To make things more interesting, one of the gangsters, Iosef, turns out to be the son of Wick’s former boss Viggo Tarasov, the head of the Russian mafia in New York City.
The plot is somewhat unremarkable. But the film is full of whip-smart dialogues and features some of the most astounding action scenes you’ll ever see. The filmmakers took inspiration from renowned crime films like John Woo’s The Killer, Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Cercle Rouge, and Spaghetti Westerns. John Wick reintroduced gun-fu and featured extensively choreographed close-quarter fights shot continuously with minimal camera movement. Reeves and other cast members underwent rigorous training and performed most of the stunts on their own. The style of John Wick films has inspired several successful films like Kingsman and Extraction. After being delayed due to the global health crisis, the next installment of the series John Wick 4 finally began filming in Germany last month. Here is everything we know about John Wick: Chapter 4. The following contains spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the previous three movies, it is advised not to read any further.
Keanu Reeves is returning for John Wick: Chapter 4
It should be a no-brainer. Reeves’s career was revived by the success of John Wick, turning him into a global star once again. Being called “breathtaking” at game shows, appearing in Cyberpunk 2077, starring in Bill & Ted Face the Music, and creating his upcoming comic book BRZRKR, all turned Keanu into somewhat of a pop culture icon in the last few years. No wonder he’s been dubbed “the internet’s boyfriend.” He is also reprising his breakthrough role of Neo in the yet-untitled fourth Matrix film. John Wick: Chapter 4 had to be delayed even before the pandemic due to Reeves and Stahelski’s commitment towards The Matrix 4 as Reeves was starring, and Stahelski was working on an action sequence for the film. But both are now committed to the pre-production of John Wick: Chapter 4. With new locations, new looks, and new friends, John Wick: Chapter 4 is looking to making some big changes. Let’s hope they work out for the best.
Chad Stahelski is Directing John Wick: Chapter 4
Chad Stahelski, who has directed all three John Wick films, has been confirmed as the director for John Wick: Chapter 4. Stahelski was Keanu Reeves’s stunt double in The Matrix movies and went on to become a second unit director in films like Ninja Assassin and Captain America: Civil War. Initially, Stahelski and Leitch wanted to be the second unit directors. But with Reeves’s support, the pair ended up directing the film instead. But due to DGA guidelines, Stahelski was credited as the sole director, whereas Leitch got credited as a producer. In an interview Stahelski gave to The Hollywood Reporter last year, he sounded worried about not being able to top the stunts of Parabellum but said that he’ll try his best to raise the bar for the action. He even teased some ”underwater stuff”. He also mentioned that he’ll try to include the action scenes that were cut from Parabellum in John Wick: Chapter 4. Due to his ability to seamlessly blend mind-blowing action with storytelling, Stahelski has become one of the hottest directors in Hollywood right now. He has signed on to direct the Highlander reboot starring Henry Cavill, the Kill or Be Killed film adaptation, and is rumored to be developing a Ghosts of Tsushima movie for Sony Pictures. He sure has a lot on his plate for the years to come.
Derek Kolstad Will Not Write John Wick: Chapter 4
Franchise creator Derek Kolstad who has written all three movies, will not be taking on the writing duties for John Wick: Chapter 4. The news came as a surprise to fans and to Kolstad himself when Lionsgate didn’t ask him to return. Read what he has to say about that.
“No, it wasn’t my decision. When you think of the contractually of these things, the third one I shared the credit with any number of people, they didn’t have to come back to me, and so they didn’t. At a certain stage the studio will tell you, your creation is graduated, and you wish it well. I’m still close with Chad (Stahelski), still close with David (Leitch), and I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m excited to see. Seeing what the industry is and how things go, I just believe that you bless everything and hope it all the best, and to the players involved who are doing other things elsewhere. And yeah, it’s personal, so I’m never going to talk sh*t about John Wick. I want this thing to survive and thrive.”
It looks like he wishes the franchise well, and there doesn’t seem to be any ill will between him and Lionsgate. Shay Hatten (John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Army of The Dead) and Michael Finch (American Assassin) are penning the screenplay for John Wick: Chapter 4. Kolstad is doing fine as well, as he has become one of the most sought-after writers in Hollywood. Recently, he wrote the Bob Odenkirk starrer Nobody for Lionsgate and two episodes of Disney’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. He is also writing a live-action Hitman series, the Hollywood remake of the Korean action thriller, The Man from Know Where, a film adaption of the video game Just Cause, and a live-action film adaption of the Japanese manga Hellsing.
What Will be the Plot of John Wick: Chapter 4?
While the official plot synopsis is not available yet, we do have some idea of what’s about to go down in John Wick: Chapter 4. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum ended with Winston (Ian McShane) betraying Wick and shooting him multiple times in his bulletproof vest causing him to fall from the roof of the Continental hotel. But Wick survived the fall and was taken to The Bowery King (played by Laurence Fishburne). When the Bowery King asks Wick if he’s pissed, he replies with an intense “Yeah”. That gives us the impression that the Bowery King and John Wick will be teaming up to go after The High Table. Expect an all-out war.
Will Ian McShane Return for John Wick: Chapter 4?
With the way Parabellum left things, McShane’s character will likely play a prominent role in John Wick: Chapter 4. Upcoming spinoff The Continental will also be featuring a younger version of his character. While continental will be delving deeper into the backstory of Winston, John Wick: Chapter 4 could also flesh out his character some more and reveal to us why he betrayed John, if he did indeed betray him.
In an interview McShane gave to Collider earlier this year, he said, “Keanu and I exchanged New Year’s greetings and said, ‘Hope to see you this year.’ I know the script is being written and they’re hoping to do it this year. I know they announced they were gonna do John Wick: Chapter 4 and John Wick: Chapter 5 together, but who knows. The studios announce all sorts of things. No doubt, at some point this year, we’re gonna do John Wick: Chapter 4.” A lot has changed since then, but as of this month, the actor has officially closed a deal with Lionsgate and Ian McShane is confirmed to return for the upcoming sequel.
Laurence Fishburne is Returning for John Wick: Chapter 4
While promoting Netflix’s action thriller The Ice Road on Collider, Laurence Fishburne disclosed that he is reprising his role as The Bowery King saying, “I should be going to Berlin within another couple of months or so. I read the script. It’s really, really cool. As much as it’s the same world as the other three films, it’s just deeper. It’s much deeper in terms of the code of the assassin and the relationship that he has with one character in particular who I think Mr. Watanabe is playing… is really the heart and soul of it.” Fishburne said.
Before you get your hopes up, know this “Mr. Watanabe” is not who you think it is. Sources at Collider confirmed that it is the name of a character in the movie and not a person.
John Wick: Chapter 4 will Reveal more about The High Table and The Elder
In the world of John Wick, every person involved in crime is bound by rules created by The High Table. This mysterious guild consists of twelve members, all from various criminal organizations of the world like the Yakuza, the Italian mafia, the Russian mafia, drug cartels, or Chinese triads. Not much else is known about them, and so far, the only character that had a seat at the table, Gianna D’Antonio, the head of the Camorra, was killed by John at the orders of her brother Santino. Her position at the High Table then passed on to her brother. Hitmen, mob bosses, or anyone even remotely liked to the former must serve under the table and follow the rules lest risk facing deadly consequences. But there is one man who happens to be above the table, The Elder. Said Taghmaoui (La Haine, Wonder Woman) played the role of The Elder in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. He resides in the Moroccan desert and keeps track of all major happenings in the world of crime. Since John will be going after the High Table in the next film, it makes sense to introduce the other members and throw some light on its functioning.
Donnie Yen is Starring in John Wick: Chapter 4
It was announced in June that Donnie Yen of Ip Man fame is joining the line-up of John Wick: Chapter 4. He plays an old friend of Reeves’s super-assassin John Wick, who shares his same history and many of the same enemies. Stahelski was quite excited about working with Yen. “We are very lucky to have Donnie Yen join the franchise, I am looking forward to working with him in this exciting new role.” said Stahelski.
Producer Basil Iwanyk added, “Donnie Yen will bring a vibrant and powerful energy to the franchise. We were determined to bring him on board to John Wick: Chapter 4 and are thrilled for the opportunity to have such a major talent to collaborate with Keanu.”
Yen is one of the most successful film stars and martial artists to come out of Hong Kong cinema. Having starred in blockbusters like Mulan and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Yen is no stranger to Hollywood. No doubt, Yen will prove to be a valuable addition to John Wick: Chapter 4.
Who are the New Faces Added to the Cast of John Wick: Chapter 4?
Japanese-British Pop singer Rina Sawayama was the first new actor to be added to John Wick: Chapter 4. She makes her film debut with the film. When speaking on her casting, Stahelski said. “I’m so glad to have Rina on board to make her feature film debut in John Wick: Chapter 4. She’s an incredible talent who’ll bring so much to the film.”
Hiroyuki Sanada was cast as “Mr. Watanabe” in John Wick 4 last month. He was also eyed for the main antagonist role in Parabellum but dropped out due to an injury. While Fishburne has said that Sanada’s character has a special relationship with John Wick, it’s currently unknown if he’s a friend or a foe. Director Chad Stahelski is delighted to have Sanada on board saying, “Having long admired Hiroyuki as both actor and action performer, I’m thrilled and honored to welcome him to the John Wick family.”
John Wick 4 has also added some famous martial artists to its line-up. Scott Adkins (Undisputed II, Doctor Strange), known for his low-budget but amazing direct-to-video action films, has joined the cast of John Wick 4 in a prominent role. Adkins’ co-star from Undisputed 3, Chilean martial artist Marko Zaror, has also been cast in John Wick 4 as a villain. The most recent addition to the film is Hollywood veteran Clancy Brown. He has been cast in an undisclosed role but judging by Brown’s body of work, he is probably playing another bad guy.
Swedish actor Bill Skarsg&ård, best known for playing Pennywise the Clown in IT, is also rumored to join John Wick: Chapter 4 in a mystery role. He a phenomenal actor who shines in any role he plays. Skarsg&ård also had supporting roles in the David Leitch directed Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2. Wynonna Earp and Netflix’s Stowaway star Shamier Anderson has also been cast in an undisclosed role.
Will Halle Berry Return in John Wick: Chapter 4?
In Parabellum, Halle Berry played Sofia, an ex-assassin, and a former friend of John who owed him a favor. She helped John find The Elder. Director Chad Stahelski hinted at Berry’s return back in 2020 while talking to THR. He said, “I would be worried for her, but I would trust in the fact that Sofia is pretty badass and will do anything she can to protect the people she cares about. Obviously, she’s got a fairly good heart to help John the way she did. She chose the code over her own suffering.” It looks like Stahelski had a plan in mind for Halle Berry’s character back then, but her return in John Wick: Chapter 4 is still unconfirmed.
Who Else is Returning in John Wick: Chapter 4?
Due to unknown reasons, many characters from John Wick: Chapter 2 did not return for Parabellum. So, we can only speculate as to who will return for John Wick: Chapter 4 and who will not. Cassian (played by rapper Common) was an antagonist in Chapter 2 and worked for the D’Antonio family. Common and Keanu had good chemistry, and the fights between their characters were one of the best parts of the movie, yet he wasn’t asked to return for Parabellum. The Russian mafia hasn’t been featured either since John Wick: Chapter 2. Lance Reddick (The Wire, Bosch) played the charismatic and badass Charon, the concierge of the continental hotel. He is one of the few characters that appeared in all three movies, and his role has only gotten bigger. And since he is a close aide of Winston, who’ll likely be one of the main characters in John Wick: Chapter 4, it’s safe to say that he will return for the John Wick: Chapter 4. Jason Mantzoukas previously joked about his return as The Tick-Tock man back in 2019, and since he works with Fishburne’s character, we could see Mantzoukas in the upcoming film. Wick’s old friend Aurelio (played by John Leguizamo) had a supporting role in the first film and cameoed in the second but did not appear in Parabellum. Since Wick will be going against the high table, he will need all the help he can get. But he’ll be making new enemies as well. Hopefully, some of the above-mentioned characters make an appearance in John Wick: Chapter 4 as friends or perhaps foes.
Will John Wick Fight the Yakuza?
John Wick vs. the Yakuza is a long-running fan theory that originated before production began on John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. At that time, Hiroyuki Sanada was cast as the primary villain for Parabellum but he had to drop out of the film after suffering a knee injury. After that, Mark Dacascos ended up being the villain. The film was also supposed to shoot in Japan and Israel, but that didn’t happen either. While it’s only speculation at this point, John Wick could end up fighting the Japanese mob Yakuza after all. Japan is confirmed to be one of the filming locations for John Wick: Chapter 4, plus Mr. Watanabe could turn out to be a member of the High Table. Or maybe John Wick: Chapter 4 features more of the katana-wielding assassins that we saw in Parabellum. But one thing we can be sure of is that Wick won’t be heading to Japan just to enjoy some Sushi. He will be looking for blood.
John Wick: Chapter 4 Will Not be the End of the Franchise
Originally the John Wick franchise was to come to an end with Parabellum, but the filmmakers felt that there was a lot more left to explore in the fascinating mythology of the films. Keanu Reeves getting older was also a factor, but he too felt that he could do a few more movies. “As far as my legs can take me. As far as the audience wants to go” is what Reeves said when asked for how long he’ll play John Wick.
The Continental, a TV show based on the origins of Ian McShane’s character Winston will debut next year on Starz. McShane being 78, won’t star in the show. So, a younger actor will be portraying his character, and the show will be set in the 1970s. Len Wiseman (Underworld franchise) is also attached to a female-led spinoff film titled Ballerina that focuses on a young female assassin seeking revenge against the people who killed her family. Shay Hatten (Army of the Dead, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum) is writing the script. Not much else is known about the film or the show.
John Wick: Chapter 4 will not Shoot Back-to-Back with John Wick: Chapter 5
It was reported last year that the next two sequels of the John Wick series would shoot back-to-back. But as of right now, those plans have been scrapped. Production on John Wick: Chapter 5 will commence only after production on John Wick: Chapter 4 comes to an end. We are dealing with a worldwide pandemic right now, and the times are very unpredictable. COVID restrictions have made it very difficult to shoot films, and now filmmakers have to take extra care during shoots. Jurassic World: Dominion, The Batman, and many other films suffered multiple setbacks during shooting because of crew members testing positive. Just recently, the filming on Mission Impossible 7 was halted again due to a positive COVID test. A back-to-back shoot would have made it possible to release the sequels with less gap in between but could also have derailed the momentum of the production had the virus spread on set.
When does John Wick: Chapter 4 Start Filming?
Casting calls happened and filming started in late June. John Wick: Chapter 4 has been shooting primarily in France and Germany with additional filming in Japan and New York City. The first phase of the filming took place at Babelsberg Film Studio in Berlin. Stahelski has said that the locations are crucial to the story and a significant portion of the film takes place in Paris and Berlin. Moreover, France has eased its lockdown measures and will be making quarantine for U.S. travelers advisory rather than compulsory. All this is encouraging news not just for John Wick: Chapter 4 but for the filmmaking industry in general. Many other big films like the Russo Brothers directed The Gray Man will also be filming in France.
When will John Wick: Chapter 4 Release?
Lionsgate Picture will release John Wick: Chapter 4 in theaters worldwide on May 27, 2022. Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee will be producing the film along with director Chad Stahelski. Keanu Reeves and Louise Rosner serve as the executive producers.