The vigilante adventures of Keanu Reeves’ Baba Yaga continue in the fourth installment of the John Wick franchise, in which the super-assassin meets his equal – the martial arts grandmaster Ip Man. No, the franchises aren’t crossing over. But, the Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen will appear in the upcoming John Wick 4, starring opposite Keanu Reeves’ John Wick character.
Yen is set to play John Wick’s old acquaintance, who shares his same history, and many of his enemies as well, as reported by Deadline. Hong Kong action star, best known for his Ip Man movie series and unique style of on-screen combat, is set to appear alongside Keanu Reeves in the upcoming John Wick movie. However, the relationship between the two characters remains unclear and subject to speculation: some believe they’re friendlies, while others declare Yen as the sequel’s villain. According to Deadline’s article, it’s likely they’ll join forces against the High Table.
Despite the movie’s announcement in 2019, very little is known about the Keanu Reeves film, and its plot, making it challenging to discern Yen’s true role in the movie. John Wick’s director, Chad Stahelski, expressed his excitement over Donnie Yen’s appearance in the upcoming film, believing that the actor will bring a vibrant and powerful energy to the franchise. The creative team behind the most iconic assassin in cinematic history was determined to get Donnie Yen on board to John Wick 4, and many of the cast and staff are excited to work with such major talent.
Yen has joined the previously cast British-Japanese singer Rina Sawayama and the franchise’s star Keanu Reeves. No other cast has been announced at the moment of writing, but we are aware that the movie won’t release on its initial release date – as confirmed by the movie’s director. Though John Wick 4 was announced in Chapter 3’s opening week and set to release in May 2021, Chad Stahelski later revealed that the movie wouldn’t make it to its 2021 release, partially due to the director’s commitment to The Matrix 4. The official production date is set for June 2021, with a currently scheduled release on May 2022.
Besides being famous in Asia, Donnie Yen is a skillful martial artist, highly proficient in several martial arts techniques such as Tai Chi, boxing, kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do, Hapkido, Taekwondo, Karate, Muay Tai, and probably a dozen more dangerously-sounding martial arts. He’s one of the highest-paid actors in Asia, credited with introducing mixed martial arts (MMA) into mainstream Asia cinematography by choreographing MMA in many of his films. He’s also credited with the popularization of Wing Chun in China, earning respect from the Ip family for making their family’s art popular and allowing their martial arts legacy to be remembered.
Apart from appearing in numerous martial arts movies, Donnie Yen also appeared in xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Disney’s live-action Mulan – a movie both loved and hated by the critics. We can’t wait for Yen’s performance in John Wick 4, holding our fingers crossed for at least a tiny fighting sequence between him and Keanu Reeves in the upcoming sequel.