A promotional display at CinemaCon boasts the debut poster design for John Wick: Chapter 4. The neo-noir action franchise quickly became a global sensation following the first John Wick’s premiere in 2014, spawning two sequels, a prequel comic, and the upcoming spinoff series, The Continental, which focuses on a younger Winston (Ian McShane). The slick and brutal martial arts action blended into neon-strewn cityscapes brought Keanu Reeves right back into the blockbuster spotlight he dominated in the early to mid-2000s, spawned a host of knockoff movies, and made John Wick a household name.
The first three John Wick films had relatively easy productions and theatrical premieres compared to the fourth entry, which got delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Reeves’s return to the Matrix franchise. Long-time franchise director Chad Stahelski didn’t begin filming until last June, after the expected premiere date of May 21. Accordingly, Lionsgate pushed John Wick: Chapter 4’s release date back to March 24, 2023, but filming wrapped last October, and the highly-anticipated film is officially on track to release.
Lionsgate affirms their hit action film’s status with the first promotional artwork out of CinemaCon in Las Vegas. A huge multi-paneled array shows Reeves clad in the protagonist’s well-defined medium black hair, suit, and pistol, seemingly ready to engage an enemy. The title reads John Wick: Chapter 4, and cherry blossoms grace the sides of the poster, enveloped in green and red lighting. Check out the design below:
This poster is simple but effective. Not much seems to have changed regarding Wick’s appearance, which has historically been consistent throughout the films, given their tendency to pick up after the last chronologically. But, compared to the Chapter 3 artworks, he looks refreshed here. The most intriguing element is the cherry blossoms, which could connect to the film’s rumored subtitle of Hagakure. While the poster does not bear that name, the flowers could still indicate that Chapter 4 will take place – at least in part – in Japan. After all, Japanese assassins were the endgame of Parabellum, and the Yakuza holds a seat at the High Table. A visit to the Land of the Rising Sun makes complete sense considering Wick’s mission to dismantle the criminal organization.
Overall, it’s a subdued poster design that illustrates the best parts of the John Wick franchise: Keanu Reeves playing the badass assassin in a suit gunning down combatants amid stylized lights. Expect future promotional materials to paint a clearer picture of Chapter 4’s plot and themes, but everything hints at Wick engaging the Japanese Yakuza in some capacity. Plus, the inclusion of Clancy Brown and Bill Skarsgard, and several new locations in Germany and France (in addition to Japan), suggest that John Wick: Chapter 4 could be the franchise’s biggest and most explosive entry yet.