Expect Keanu Reeves’ action choreography to be even more epic in John Wick: Chapter 4 — and more diverse too.
John Wick franchise director Chad Stahelski revealed to Collider the level of global experience he brought in to train Reeves for his character’s next outing. “Keanu’s got some new skill sets, which is good. He’s got some new props, which are great,” Stahelski said. “We were fortunate enough to land some very interesting stunt teams from all over the world. And each stunt team from the different countries, the Japanese stunt team, the French stunt team, the Bulgarian stunt team, they all have a little bit of flavor of motion, and I think that helps change the set pieces as well.”
Stahelski also briefly discussed how this multicultural training approach impacted John Wick: Chapter 4’s cinematography, though he didn’t spoil any action scenes. “When you get all these different experts and different martial arts, it forces us to adapt the choreography to show different things. It’s fun,” he continued.
The original John Wick, directed by Stahelski and written by Derek Kolstad, followed the titular Wick, an assassin forced out of retirement after a mobster’s son kills the dog Wick’s deceased wife left as a parting gift. Following its critical success, two more sequels were released continuing Wick’s mission to survive his former underground assassin society, eventually becoming a wanted man in the third film, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. Each movie has gained acclaim for its unique gun-fu fighting style, a technique invented by Hong Kong director John Woo in 1986’s A Better Tomorrow and further popularized in the Wachowski’s Matrix franchise, which starred Reeves as protagonist Neo. Parabellum also featured a fight between Wick and two assassins played by Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman, best known for their roles in the Indonesian-based The Raid franchise.
Though Parabellum ended with Wick and Laurence Fishburne’s Bowery King forming an alliance against the High Council in charge of their assassin culture, further details about John Wick: Chapter 4’s plot remain vague. Its full title, however, was leaked last year as Hagakure, which references an influential Japanese book about the samurai bushido code. In addition to the returning cast, Chapter 4 will feature new characters played by Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Clancy Brown, Shamier Anderson, Scott Adkins and Hiroyuki Sanada. The John Wick franchise will also be expanded upon in two upcoming spinoffs: the Starz prequel series The Continental and the revenge-thriller Ballerina, starring Ana de Armas (Knives Out) in the lead role.