Hong Kong cinema legend and all out action star Donnie Yen is joining the cast of John Wick: Chapter 4. Recently the actor appeared in a XXX sequel, and stole the entire movie in Star Wars: Rogue One. Now the Ip Man star is joining forces with John Wick to help the pissed off assassin go after the high table and finally be able to retire in peace, once and for all.
John Wick has become a beacon of hope in the action genre after it’s low edit, steady camera movement and actors doing their own stunts wowed audiences back in 2014. Since then, each movie in the franchise has obliterated the box office numbers of the preceding film in the series. The movie has also resulted in the resurgence of Keanu Reeves as a leading man in Hollywood, after years of underperforming outings.
Now, stemming from the success of the first three movies, Lionsgate has greenlit John Wick: Chapter 4 and 5, set to shoot back-to-back this year. A TV show is also in development and joining the growing franchise is Donnie Yen whose fighting skills are evident in almost every movie he has ever done. Also, he will not be an antagonist in the movie, rather a friend of John to rely on.
John Wick: Chapter 4 – Donnie Yen as a Much-Needed Friend and Ally
At end of Parabellum, John Wick was in a weird situation, “betrayed” by a friend, hunted by the world and no safe passage anywhere. Well, the Bowery does not count because it is not exactly a passage. An angry Bowery King and a pissed off legendary assassin is not a healthy combination for their collective enemies. Throw into the mix all the might of the High Table and we are all in for an explosive ride.
But The Bowery King and John are not going to be enough going up against the High Table. The Ninjas showed the limits of Bowery power and while John can kill 200 people within a week, the hordes of forces coming their way would be too much for one man alone. That is why in a situation that he never expected to be in, John needs a friend with similar skillset and history to go up against the assassin world.
In walks Donnie Yen who plays a former acquaintance of John Wick and is said to be of similar skill level and boasting almost the same legacy. Donnie’s character and Keanu Reeves' John are friends according to information revealed by Deadline Hollywood. According to the story, the unnamed character and John are not only just friends but they also share some of the same enemies so there is a win-win scenario for the both of them to team up.
Chad Stahelski responded to Donnie Yen's casting by saying, "We are very lucky to have Donnie Yen join the franchise. I am looking forward to working with him in this exciting new role." While producer Brad Iwanyk said, "Donnie Yen will bring a vibrant and powerful energy to the franchise. We were determined to bring him on board to John Wick 4 and are thrilled for the opportunity to have such a major talent to collaborate with Keanu."
John Wick: Chapter 4 was supposed to be released this year. But the pandemic meant shooting had to be postponed and Keanu went on to do other projects, namely The Matrix 4. Now, we have some casting movement from the studio, things are again moving in the right direction for the production. With high fan expectation and some time to refine the story with new characters, the fourth movie is aiming to wow even more next year.
Keanu Reeves is known for his love of Hong Kong cinema. His directorial debut was a martial arts movie call Man of Tai Chi starring Tiger Chen. Tiger was Keanu's teacher and they are also friends so it would be interesting to see Tiger appear also in the beloved series. But for now we will have to settle our excitement regarding Donnie and Keanu joining forces in the fourth John Wick movie.
It is being reported John Wick: Chapter 4 will begin filming this summer and the movie is slated for 27 May 2022 release. After deciding to shoot the fourth and fifth movie back to back, Lionsgate has opted to do seperate productions instead with the fifth movie still intended for a 2023 release.
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