When we last saw Marine Corps veteran John Wick (and, yes, he’s a Marine), he was still on the run after being declared “excommunicado” by the mysterious powers at the high table. He was alive, but where could the story go next?
“John Wick: Chapter 4” is set for release in theaters on March 24, 2023, and the first trailer for the movie suggests that the latest movie in the Keanu Reeves-starring series will reveal more about Wick’s backstory and his mysterious family ties.
We know that Wick was born Jardani Jovonovich in Belarus and made his bones as an assassin working for the Russian Mafia. We don’t yet know how he got to the United States and the circumstances of his Marine Corps service.
The trailer suggests that Wick/Jovonovich has family ties to the council that manages the criminal underworld that dominates the Wick universe. In the new movie, Wick is challenged to a duel by the mysterious Marquis (Bill Skarsgård, “It”). If Wick can win the battle, he’ll be forgiven by the High Table.
“John Wick: Chapter 4” also stars action movie legends Donnie Yen (“Ip Man,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) and Scott Adkins (“One Shot,” “Avengement”). Adkins doesn’t appear in the trailer, so there must be either a big plot reveal connected to his character, or the producers are waiting to surprise everyone with an epic fight between Adkins and Reeves.
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Ian McShane (“Deadwood”) is back as Winston and so are Laurence Fishburne (“The Matrix,” “Last Flag Flying”) as the Bowery King and Lance Reddick (“The Wire”) as Charon. They’re joined by Hiroyuki Sanada (“Bullet Train”), Natalia Tena (“Game of Thrones”) and Clancy Brown (“Starship Troopers”).
As each movie in the series has generated bigger box-office returns, the budgets have grown. “John Wick: Chapter 4” was filmed on location in Paris, Berlin, Japan and New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the trailer suggests that they use those locations to great effect.
In addition to a new movie, the John Wick universe is expanding with spinoff movie “Ballerina,” set to star Ana de Armas, who kicked ass in both the James Bond movie “No Time to Die” and “The Gray Man.” “Ballerina” will also feature Reeves and MacShane.
If that’s not enough for you, there’s also “The Continental,” a prequel series set in the hotel where hired killers are required to put away their weapons. The series, which features Mel Gibson (“Braveheart”), is set to stream next year on Peacock, along with all the movies in the “John Wick” series.
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