Keanu Reeves as John Wick looks into the camera as a tailor's hand holds a measuring tape to his collar

John Wick Will Return–And It Looks Like He’s Ready For War

The John Wick franchise is still going strong, with John Wick: Chapter 4 set to debut next year. The John Wick franchise kicked off in 2014 and stars Keanu Reeves as the titular character. John Wick sees assassin Wick retiring from his career after marrying the love of his life. However, after her passing, he is attacked by sadistic mobsters who steal his car and kill the dog his wife left him. Wick has no choice but to return to the field and seek revenge. He takes on the role of an assassin once more as he sets off on an action-packed mission of vengeance.

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John Wick was both a commercial and critical success. It marked a huge comeback for Reeves, whose performance as Wick was nothing short of iconic. As a result, the franchise has continued, spurning two sequels so far, John Wick: Chapter 2 and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. Each of the sequels has also been met with critical and commercial success. Meanwhile, John Wick: Chapter 5 is in the works, as well as several John Wick spin-off films and TV shows. So far, John Wick spin-off TV series, The Continental, and spin-off film, Ballerina, are both in development.

Initially, John Wick 4 and John Wick 5, were to be shot back-to-back. However, Lionsgate opted to delay production of the fifth installment and focus solely on the 4th. Director Chad Stahelski indicated that John Wick 5 may not occur now, though, as he hinted John Wick 4 has a bit of a conclusion to it. With John Wick 3 setting up Wick to face off against the High Table and indications of the 4th installment wrapping the series up, anticipation is certainly high for John Wick 4.

John Wick: Chapter 4 release date

John Wick 4 is set to release theatrically on March 24, 2023. This is about 2 years after its original anticipated release date. While originally slated for release on May 21, 2021, the film faced COVID-19 delays, as well as some scheduling conflicts due to Reeves’ work on The Matrix Resurrections. Once John Wick 4 premieres, it will appear exclusively in theaters for some time. After it has been in theaters for several months, viewers will be able to stream it first on Starz and, later, on The Roku Channel.

John Wick: Chapter 4 confirmed cast

Keanu Reeves and Anjelica Huston in John Wick- Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019).

So far, all of the major characters in the John Wick franchise are slated to return for John Wick 4. Reeves will, of course, be returning as Wick again. Reeves has implied that he will continue playing Wick as long as the demand for more films is there. Additionally, Laurence Fishburne will be reprising his role as The Bowery King, a mysterious figure who runs an underground intelligence network and had a recurring role in John Wick 2 and John Wick 3. However, it appears he will be elevated to a lead role in John Wick 4 after he and Wick agreed to join forces against the High Table in the third film.

Ian McShane will be returning as Winston, the manager of the Continental Hotel. Whether he’ll be a friend or foe in this film remains to be seen, though. Fortunately, Charon (Lance Reddick) will be returning, as he has remained one of Wick’s greatest allies throughout the series. Meanwhile, Japanese-British pop singer, Rina Sawayama, will be joining the cast of John Wick 4 as a new character named Akira. Martial arts legends Donnie Yen and Scott Adkins have both joined the film. Yen will be portraying the role of Caine, a blind High Table assassin who is an ally to Wick. Adkins will be portraying Killa, a semi-ally to Wick as they share a common enemy.

Mortal Kombat‘s Hiroyuki Sanada is another Wick ally appearing in the film, while Wynonna Earp‘s Shamier Anderson will be portraying a character named The Tracker. IT star Bill Skarsgård will be starring in the film as The Marquis de Gramont, a high-ranking official of the High Table who poses a formidable threat to Wick. The Shawshank Redemption star Clancy Brown will appear as a character named The Habinger, while George Georgiou portrays The Elder, the one figure above the High Table. Rounding out the cast is Chilean actor and martial artist Marko Zaror Aguad, who will appear as a character named Chidi, and British actress and musician Natalia Tena who will portray a character named Katia.

John Wick: Chapter 4 plot

Keanue Reeves as John Wick in John Wick film

The plot details of John Wick 4 have been kept tightly under wraps so far. However, based on the events of John Wick 3, we can guess what the plot holds. Essentially, John Wick 3, as its title Parabellum implies, tracked the characters’ preparation for war. The film saw Wick and Winston’s relationship deteriorate to the point of Winston becoming a true antagonist to him. He threw his friendship with Wick out the window, shot him, and left him for dead to get on the good side of the High Table. Though badly injured, Wick survives and is taken to the Bowery King.

The Bowery King has also faced the wrath of the High Table that he once served and was severely maimed by them. While Wick himself had always respected the High Table as the ultimate authority of the underworld, he and the Bowery King are not happy. The ending implies that the two are going to join forces against the High Table. If John Wick 3 was the preparation for the war then John Wick 4 will be the all-out war between Wick and his allies and the High Table.

The official synopsis hints that Wick has already found a way to defeat the High Table. From the film’s final trailer, it seems that Wick having a “single combat” battle with Skarsgård’s Marquis is the path to his freedom from the High Table. See the synopsis below:

John Wick uncovers a path to defeating the High Table. But before he can earn his freedom, Wick must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe and forces that turn old friends into foes.

In an interview with IndieWire, director Stahelski warned fans that, whatever happens, John Wick 4 isn’t going to be a very happy film. After all, considering everything Wick has been through, he can’t exactly just leave his assassin life behind and live happily ever after again. Check out Stahelski’s warning below:

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

John Wick: Chapter 4 first look

On July 21, 2022, Paramount released the first look image of Reeves in John Wick 4. The photo sees Wick in his signature black suit, surrounded by candles, and seemingly meditating or praying. John Wick has always had a subtle religious subtext, so it isn’t surprising to see Wick in a place that appears to have some spiritual connection to it. Check out the image below:

John Wick: Chapter 4 SDCC trailer

As part of the San Diego Comic-Con, Lionsgate released John Wick 4‘s first trailer on July 22, 2022. The trailer sees Wick contemplating where his assassin career will end. After all, even he cannot possibly kill everyone. However, Wick shows no signs of stopping as he punches a bloody post and confirms to the Bowery Man that he’s ready. We also get a first look at Donnie Yen’s character and get a taste of the thrilling action sequences. Check out the trailer below:

John Wick: Chapter 4 final trailer

Lionsgate released the final trailer for John Wick: Chapter 4 on February 16, just a little over a month before the film’s premiere. The trailer unveils Skarsgård as a chilling new antagonist who seems to hold the key to Wick’s freedom. However, we also see him fighting a lot of people in the trailer, so it seems a single combat battle isn’t the only demand the High Table has for him. We also get a shot of Yen’s Caine and a glimpse of his epic swordsmanship as he swiftly takes out several enemies at once with his blades. Meanwhile, there is an ominous voiceover warning that death may be the only way Wick will ever have freedom or peace.

(featured image: Lionsgate)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.