After recently appearing in two high-profile projects, Warner Bros. Pictures’ new Mortal Kombat movie and Netflix’s Army of the Dead, Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada has found his next major project in the form of Lionsgate’s upcoming John Wick: Chapter 4. According to Collider, the 60-year-old actor has officially signed on for a key role opposite Keanu Reeves in the highly-anticipated fourth installment to the blockbuster action franchise. Further details about his character are still being kept under wraps, but the outlet’s source notes that his character might be named Watanabe.
“Having long admired Hiroyuki as both actor and action performer, I’m thrilled and honored to welcome him to the John Wick family,” Stahelski said in a statement.
John Wick: Chapter 4 was first announced two years ago immediately after the record-setting opening weekend of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, which went on to gross over $300 million worldwide. The fourth installment will feature the return of Keanu Reeves as the eponymous assassin, who at the end of the last film was betrayed by Ian McShane’s Winston and was last seen suffering from multiple injuries. It will again be directed by Chad Stahelski from a screenplay co-written by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch, who is taking over from franchise creator Derek Kolstad.
Joining Reeves are franchise newcomers Japanese-British pop superstar Rina Sawayama in her film acting debut, Shamier Anderson (Awake), Bill Skarsgard (IT), and Donnie Yen (IP Man films), who is reportedly playing an old friend of John Wick.
John Wick: Chapter 4 is produced by Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, and Stahelski with Reeves and Louise Rosner as executive producers. Production is scheduled to begin this summer in France, Germany, and Japan.
The film is currently scheduled to make its debut on May 27, 2022.