'John Wick 4' Casts Martial Arts Superstar Donnie Yen, and All is Right in the World
One of the best things about the John Wick franchise is watching Keanu Reeves‘ increasingly tired super-assassin cross fists with some of the martial arts greats. After barely surviving a fight with Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman from The Raid, there was one big question: who could John Wick possibly fight next? Well, we don’t have an answer to that, but we now know who he will probably be fighting alongside: Donnie Yen.
That’s right, Ip Man himself is coming to the John Wick franchise. Deadline reports that Donnie Yen has been cast in John Wick 4 by director Chad Stahelski. Yen, who joins the cast shortly after pop star Rina Sawamura boarded the action sequel, will play “an old friend of Reeves’ super assassin John Wick, who shares his same history and many of the same enemies.”
Yen is one of the biggest stars to come out of the Hong Kong movie industry, establishing a name for himself as a top action star and filmmaker in the China long before Hollywood took notice. He’s credited with bringing mixed martial arts into mainstream Asian cinema, but most notably, for his part in the popularization of the traditional martial arts style Wing Chun through his role as the title character in the wildly popular Ip Man movies. On the Hollywood side, he’s also starred in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and xXx: Return of Xander Cage. Needless to say, Yen is a big get for Stahelski, and a chance for the John Wick movies — which already take inspiration from Hong Kong action cinema — to get even more creative and hard-hitting with its fight scenes.
“We are very lucky to have Donnie Yen join the franchise,” said Stahelski. “I am looking forward to working with him in this exciting new role.”
Added producer Basil Iwanyk, “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.”
At this point in the John Wick films, John Wick has miraculously survived after a double crossing by Ian McShane’s Winston at the behest of the High Table. It appears the fourth film will follow John Wick and the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) joining forces to take down the all-powerful High Table. How Yen will factor in is unknown, but it’s likely John Wick will be calling in a few favors.
John Wick 4 is written by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch, and produced by Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee and Stahelski, with Reeves and Louise Rosner executive producers. Production is set to start this summer, shooting in France, Germany and Japan.
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