Keanu Reeves is apparently the most breathtakingly generous actor in the entire movie industry. Perhaps he’s a little too generous for his own good. Photos of the set wrap gifts he gave to his fellow cast and crew members have revealed that the title of the new John Wick film is called John Wick 4: Hagakure.
Tsvetolyub Ileiv, one of the stunt performers for John Wick 4, posted a carousel of photos on Instagram in which the official title of the movie was revealed. However, the official subtitle, Hagakure, showed up on the string bag the gifts came in. The gifts Ileiv and other crew members received in the bag from Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski were martial arts outfits, complete with a gi, belt, and pants — all bearing the logo for the film’s title. The photo of Ileiv’s bag was later shared by One Take News on Twitter.
According to ScreenRant, after principal photography for John Wick 4 wrapped up several weeks ago, Keanu Reeves gifted $50,000 worth of engraved Rolex Submariner watches to five members of the stunt team. Crunching those numbers, each watch clocked in at a whopping $10,000 in value. Donnie Yen, who plays Caine in the film, showed off a personalized martial arts stick, which could be a bo staff, that Reeves gave him in a goodbye video shot on the set.
The first two films in the John Wick series followed the simple format of leaving the title of the first film as just that and numbering the sequel, only here it’s John Wick: Chapter 2 instead of just John Wick 2, as the movies are supposed to play out like a novel. However, starting with the third Keanu Reeves’ John Wick, the movie carried an additional subtitle, christening it John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. For John Wick 4, they continued to play on the theme of linguistics and named it Hagakure.
During interviews for the release of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum in 2017, Keanu Reeves, who also starred in The Matrix film series, explained that “Parabellum” originated from the second part of the Latin phrase, “Si ve pacem, para bellum,” which in English translates to, “If you want peace, then prepare for war.” According to Chad Stahelski, the third film was given that subtitle to highlight the fact that Keanu Reeve’s titular character was “going to go to war with the entire world.” If you look at the martial arts-themed gifts, Hagakure is Japanese for one of two phrases: “In the Shadow of Leaves,” or “Hidden Leaves.” Naruto fans should get the second reference.
Hagakure is taken from a book of the same name written in 1716 by Edo period samurai warrior Yamamoto Tsunetomo, which contained a collection of his teachings on Bushido — a moral code of ethics pertaining to samurai attitudes, behavior, and lifestyle that every member of the samurai class was obligated to abide by — hence the translation, “the way of the samurai.” Hagakure wasn’t widely known until the 1930s, when it became one of the most famous representatives of bushido taught in Japan. In 2011, Kodansha published a manga/comic book version of the book titled Hakagure: The Manga Edition. John Wick 4: Hagakure, starring Keanu Reeves, will release in theaters on May 27, 2022.