When Keanu Reeves first gunned his way back into the action genre back in 2014 with John Wick, nobody knew it would become a series, but we did know we wanted more immediately. Fast-forward seven years and Reeves’ ultra-assassin is leading a full-on franchise three films deep, one that’s effectively built out a mythology surrounding an underground league of killers with their own rules, customs, and guidelines. Just a few days after the third installment, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, hit theaters, Lionsgate announced a fourth film was already on the horizon, with Reeves back in the title role, ace stuntman-turned-filmmaker Chad Stahelski returning to direct, and Mike Finch (Predators) taking over script duties. Although the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the release date back a year, we’re now quickly coming up on the debut of John Wick: Chapter 4 and the hype, as they say, is real.
Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about John Wick: Chapter 4, from its release date, to where it’s currently filming, to all those new cast members, and more.
Editor’s Note: This piece was updated on January 2, 2023, to include the latest clip.
The first trailer for John Wick: Chapter 4 was unveiled during Collider’s Directors on Directing panel at San Diego Comic-Con, which featured Chad Stahelski, Tim Miller, and Andrew Stanton. Besides the new footage, we also got to see a new poster for the movie featuring Keanu Reeves front and center with nunchucks.
The full-length trailer for John Wick: Chapter 4 was released on November 10, 2022. Set to a slowed-down version of Terry Jacks‘ “Seasons in the Sun,” the trailer gives us our best look yet at the film’s stylistic violence, impressive ensemble, and where John Wick’s quest for vengeance will take him next. A painfully brief teaser clip for the movie was also released on December 19, 2022, providing a short glimpse at Bill Skarsgård‘s presumably antagonistic character. Check it out below:
When Is the John Wick: Chapter 4 Release Date?
John Wick: Chapter 4 was originally set to hit theaters on May 21, 2021, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic—as well as Reeves’ scheduling conflicts with The Matrix: Resurrections—the premiere date was pushed back a year to May 27, 2022. Since then, it’s been postponed again to March 24, 2023.
Who’s In the John Wick: Chapter 4 Cast?
In addition to Reeves returning as the titular hitman, Stahelski also confirmed Ian McShane would be returning for his fourth John Wick movie. “I couldn’t be happier than to welcome Ian McShane back to John Wick: Chapter 4,” the director said in a statement at the time. “He is not only an amazing actor but is an indispensable collaborator who has helped define the world of John Wick.”
Other familiar faces confirmed for the fourth entry are Lance Reddick and Laurence Fishburne. John Wick: Chapter 4 has also been quickly building an absolutely stacked crew of new cast members, including a trio of proven action badasses in Donnie Yen (Ip Man), Scott Adkins (Ninja: Shadow of a Tear), and Mark Zaror (Machete Kills), alongside horror’s scariest evil clown Bill Skarsgård (It), scene-stealing Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada (Mortal Kombat), Wynonna Earp favorite Shamier Anderson, Japanese-British singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama in her film debut, and the goddamn Kurgan himself, Clancy Brown.
In a chat with Collider, Yen especially stressed how great of a time he’s been having on the set of John Wick: Chapter 4:
“I have to take this opportunity [to show] my utmost appreciation for both Chad and Keanu. They’re lovely men. They’re just gentleman, they’ve got big hearts. Keanu has a wonderful soul. Chad, also, a very good man. Very knowledgeable. People think he’s just a brilliant action guy, he’s not. He understands film. He’s a film librarian. He knows what’s going on. I’m just having the best time working with them than any of my previous Hollywood movies…[Reeves] is just great. He’s more than I expected. The guy does everything himself. He put in the hours, he put in the work. He can do it. He’s no joke.”
Skarsgård, too, noted how he came to the franchise as a fan of the action genre and eventually joined the film after hitting it off with Stahelski:
“I think the movies are very entertaining. I’ve always been a fan of these kinds of over-the-top, exploitive action movies…Chad [Stahelski] reached out to me and I met him a few times, and I really liked him. It was a really fun role. I’m not gonna go into detail [about] what it is, but it was a fun role and a fun world. I like the movies. I think they’re entertaining and it is something that I haven’t really done before. That’s always something that does inspire me, for whatever it is. It’s like, ‘Okay, this is a project or genre or something that I haven’t done, so let’s try it out and let’s have fun within those genre constraints.’ So, I’m really looking forward to it.”
Stahelski also revealed that Yen and Sanada’s characters will duke it out on screen in the sequel:
“He [Sanada] has a moment with Donnie Yen. Yes, he does. I mean, when you have Hiroyuki Sanada and Donnie Yen going at it, it’s always fun. When you have guys that come from the action genre world, and they both love to act, it’s funny, they all have that similar thread. They just don’t want to tread on, they don’t want to be trope-y. They want to try something new. They’re very brave. It’s not falling back into the same, ‘Let’s just do the style I’m good at.’ Hiroyuki is used to the Japanese way of doing things, very precise. And you have Donnie that’s really the epitome of Hong Kong action of, ‘Let’s just be great and make it up on the day of, and get the energy.’ So to put them together and to find a little organic mix was really fun.”
When and Where Is John Wick: Chapter 4 Filming?
Back in June 2021, a text sent out to subscribers confirmed John Wick: Chapter 4 had started rolling cameras. “It’s begun. Consider this a professional courtesy. John Wick: Chapter 4 is now in production,” the text read. Shamier Anderson confirmed the production start later that day with an image from set.
Collider exclusively learned that production on John Wick: Chapter 4 would largely take the action out of New York City, with filming primarily taking place in Berlin and Paris before additional photography takes place in Japan and New York. Additionally, we learned that Lionsgate’s original plan to shoot John Wick 4 and John Wick 5 back-to-back was put on hold due to the pandemic, and only John Wick 4 will be in the can by the end of the summer. Filming was concluded in November 2021.
One interesting note that Stahelski revealed to Collider is that an action sequence was filmed inside the Louvre Museum in France:
“I would say the greatest word would be tricky, very tricky. Obviously, we do what we can where we’re at, and then we try to movie-magic our way through some of the trickier stuff. But we had an amazing location diversity on the scout from Sacré Coeur, to Arc de Triomphe, to the Louvre, to the Eiffel Tower, to some amazing places throughout. I mean we were in Aqaba, Jordan for our opening sequence. Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Osaka. We got around on this one. So hopefully, we brought all that great imagery to screen.”
Who Are the Confirmed Characters in John Wick: Chapter 4?
Keanu Reeves will, obviously, be playing the title role of John Wick, an assassin who wears the hell out of a suit and knows roughly 10,000 ways to make you be dead. McShane is reprising the role of Winston, owner of the New York Continental Hotel, who we last saw betraying John Wick with a bullet to the chest. Stahelski noted that he still thinks Winston’s intentions are up for interpretation. “He meant to shoot him,” the director told THR. “Did he mean to kill him? That’s open for interpretation, you can take it one of two ways, and that’s kind of where we pick up some of the unanswered questions in John Wick 4.”
Lance Reddick will reprise the role of Charon, the Continental’s steely concierge, while Fishburne will once again play the underground assassin leader, The Bowery King. Talking to Collider, Skarsgard said his role required no fight training but is “something different.”
In an interview with Collider, Stahelski also revealed some interesting information about Skarsgård’s character, a villain known as The Marquis:
His character’s name, his broad name, is The Marquis. The Marquis is, without giving too much away, I wouldn’t really say the antagonist, but he’s the one in charge of cleaning up all the messes from the first three movies.
Shamier Anderson, on the other hand, has been posting a lot of behind-the-scenes looks at his intensive gun training, hinting that whoever his character might be, he’ll be in the thick of it alongside Wick. Marko Zaror, a stuntman and martial artist as well as an actor, will reportedly be one of John Wick’s “main adversaries” in the film.
What Is the John Wick: Chapter 4 Plot?
While there isn’t an official plot synopsis quite yet for John Wick: Chapter 4, there’s a ton of info out there about what we can expect. The film will pick up after the explosive ending to John Wick 3, which saw John completely separated from the assassin organization known as The High Table. The consortium’s leadership believes John is dead–thanks to Winston shooting him off the roof of a building–but he’s actually found himself injured and in the care of The Bowery King. Talking to Collider, Fishburne revealed that the upcoming film, like every entry before it, will strive to dig even deeper into the mythology and lore surrounding of this world.
“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…is really the heart and soul of it.”
In a recent interview with IndieWire, Stahelski was pretty adamant that no matter where John Wick: Chapter 4 is going, it will not have a happy ending.
“John may survive all this shit, but at the end of it, there’s no happy ending. He’s got nowhere to go. Honestly, I challenge you right now, here’s a question to you: How do you fucking want me to end it? Do you think he’s going to ride off into the fucking sunset? He’s killed 300 fucking people and he’s just going to [walk away], everything’s okay? He’s just going to fall in love with a love interest? If you’re this fucking guy, if this guy really exist[ed], how is this guy’s day going to end? He’s fucked for the rest of his life. It’s just a matter of time.”
Stahelski also said the fourth installment in the series will be the longest at around 2.5 hours at the least:
It’s in that zone. I think, I’m different. The definition of runtime is that first logo to that last credit. You know what I mean? So the movie itself, I know what it runs at. I don’t know the full runtime because I don’t know the credit scroll, and all the other stuff that’s going in. So you’d have to add on that. But it’s in the zone of, yeah, it’s over the 2-hour mark, but it’s under a lot of the other big marks.