John Wick: Chapter 4 (stylized as JW4) is a 2023 American neo-noir action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and written by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch. The sequel to John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) and the fourth installment in the John Wick franchise, it stars Keanu Reeves as the title character, alongside Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, Lance Reddick (in one of his final roles), Rina Sawayama, Scott Adkins, and Ian McShane. In the film, John Wick sets out to get revenge on the High Table and those who left him for dead.
Development for a fourth John Wick film was confirmed prior to the release of its predecessor; it was formally announced by Lionsgate in May 2019. It is the first film in the franchise not to be written by franchise creator Derek Kolstad, with Hatten hired in May 2020, followed by Finch in March 2021. Principal photography took place from June to October 2021, with filming locations including France, Germany, New York City, and Japan.
Originally set for release on May 21, 2021, John Wick: Chapter 4 was first delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film had its premiere at the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London on March 6, 2023, and was released in the United States on March 24, by Lionsgate. It received critical acclaim from critics, with many hailing it the best film of the John Wick series.
On May 20, 2019, Lionsgate announced John Wick: Chapter 4 via their opt-in “John Wick” text update service, writing, “You have served. You will be of service. John Wick: Chapter 4 is coming – May 21, 2021”.
Before the third film’s release, director Chad Stahelski confirmed on a Reddit “AMA” thread that there had been discussion for another film, and that he would be involved with the project should the threequel be successful. Despite this announcement back then, it was not confirmed if star Keanu Reeves would return for a new installment. However, he told GQ that he would carry on the role as long as the audience wanted it, saying, “As far as my legs can take me, as far as the audience wants to go.”
Stahelski later teased the fourth film on an interview with IndieWire by saying Wick would not end the fourth film in “a happy ending”, saying, “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.” Additionally, Stahelski teased Winston’s fate in the fourth film, saying, “He meant to shoot him. Did he mean to kill him? That’s open for interpretation, you can take it one of two ways, and that’s kind of where we pick up some of the unanswered questions in John Wick 4.” The studio opted to move on from series creator Derek Kolstad and instead hired Shay Hatten to write the script in May 2020. In February, Stahelski brought Ricky Staub and Dan Walser on board to write the film after being impressed with their film Concrete Cowboy. In March 2021, screenwriting duties were passed onto Predators screenwriter Michael Finch.
On May 1, 2020, IndieWire revealed that the fourth film had been delayed to a May 2022 release date following the COVID-19 pandemic and Reeves’s commitments to The Matrix Resurrections, which was slated to be released on the same original date window with Wick 4. “The Matrix 4 was only four weeks in when this all happened [production of The Matrix 4 halted],” Stahelski said, “So, Keanu’s gotta go finish his commitment up on The Matrix, which is a big deal and which I think will probably take him until the end of the year. Then we have to go into our prep mode and then we’ll start. So release dates … who knows right now.”
When the fourth film was announced, Reeves reported to have begun his training course for John Wick 4 and The Matrix Resurrections.
- Keanu Reeves as Jardani Jovanovich / Jonathan “John” Wick, a professional hitman and assassin who has gained a legendary reputation for his set of skills and is now hunted by the High Table.
- Donnie Yen as Caine, a blind High Table assassin and an old friend of John Wick.
- Bill Skarsgård as the Marquis Vincent de Gramont, a powerful member of the High Table whose position is challenged by John Wick
- Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King, a former underground crime boss who was left for dead by the High Table and is now sponsoring John Wick.
- Hiroyuki Sanada as Shimazu Koji, the manager of the Osaka Continental Hotel and an old friend of John Wick
- Shamier Anderson as the Tracker / Mr. Nobody, a bounty hunter pursuing Wick
- Lance Reddick as Charon, the concierge at the Continental Hotel in New York.
- Rina Sawayama as Akira, Koji’s daughter and concierge of the Osaka Continental
- Scott Adkins as Killa, the head of the German Table and an individual who has one thing in common with John Wick: they have the same enemy.
- Ian McShane as Winston Scott, the manager of the New York Continental Hotel and friend of John Wick.
Additionally, Clancy Brown portrays the Harbinger, a high-ranking operative of the High Table; Natalia Tena portrays Katia, John Wick’s adoptive sister; and Marko Zaror portrays Chidi, the right-hand man of the Marquis de Gramont. George Georgiou appears as the Elder, the “Man Above the (High) Table”, replacing Saïd Taghmaoui from John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019). Bridget Moynahan appears as John’s late wife, Helen.
John Wick: Chapter 4 was released on March 24, 2023. Lionsgate officially announced the film during Parabellum‘s opening week, with a scheduled release date of May 21, 2021. The film’s release date was delayed to May 27, 2022, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and then further to March 24, 2023, in part to avoid opening against Top Gun: Maverick. The film had its premiere at the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London on March 6, 2023. It also had a special screening at the South by Southwest on March 13, 2023. In India, the film was dubbed and released in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. It will be released in South Korea on April 12, 2023.
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