It’s been three years since we last saw John Wick doing what he does best: creatively murdering would-be assailants and caring for his extremely cute dog. The franchise has become a cultural and commercial smash, leaving fans clamoring for another installment and more of Keanu Reeves’ suit-clad slayer. On November 10, Lionsgate officially released the trailer for John Wick: Chapter 4 (due out in March 2023), and it throws eager viewers back into Wick’s world of neon-soaked chaos.
The trailer (seen below) opens with Wick in an elegant church, lighting a votive candle in a church. He speaks about his late wife, and has a quick, cryptic conversation with Donnie Yen’s Caine, his friend and hitman colleague. The promo then speeds up to give expected and welcome glimpses of several blood-pumping action scenes, including what appears to be Wick firing a pistol out of a doorless muscle car while circling the Arc de Triomphe, and another of him in a horseback chase through a desert…while, naturally, shooting a gun.
The movie teases a climactic duel between Wick and Bill Skarsgård’s Marquis de Gramont, who seems positioned as this installment’s big bad. There is an air of finality to the trailer—characters constantly talk about death, and a macabre version of Terry Jacks’ “Seasons in the Sun” prominently plays—although the John Wick films have always entwined a grim philosophical bent with its gleeful, outrageous violence.
In a May 2022 interview with Collider, director Chad Stahelski said, “I think Chapter 4 is a good continuation of all three previous films, and it’s got a bit of a conclusion to it, which is great. We introduce a ton of new characters that have a lot to say about John Wick from his past and from, obviously, present. I think it’s brotherhood, it’s hope. It’s what the life would really be like as a bit of an existential crisis with John, and I think that’s the fun part of the movie.” Stahelski also said that the fourth film will be the longest in the franchise thus far.
The fourth film will introduce several new characters, including Yen’s Caine, Hiroyuki Sanada’s Shimazu, and Skarsgård’s Marquis. Pop star Rina Sawayama will also make her big-screen debut as Akira, while key returning characters include the Continental Hotel’s concierge, Charon (Lance Reddick), and owner, Winston (Ian McShane), as well as the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne), who agreed to team up with Wick at the end of the third movie, Parabellum. The director has already hyped a fight scene between Sanada and Yen, two legendary actors and martial arts figures from Tokyo and Hong Kong, respectively. Per Stahelski, the shoot involved multiple stunt teams from the various countries in which they filmed.
Initially, there were plans to shoot the fourth and fifth John Wick movies together at the start of 2021, though those plans did not come to fruition. In his Collider interview, Stahelski said that it is ultimately the studio’s decision on whether another sequel gets made, but implied that it was likely. But either way, this won’t be the end of Wick’s world: the first Wick spinoff, Ballerina, is currently being shot in Prague. While it will feature Reeves, the film largely focuses on Ana de Armas’ character, a revenge-driven assassin who is also, you guessed it, a ballerina. There is also a Peacock TV show in the works that will focus on the Continental Hotel and the origins of Ian McShane’s Winston character.