Hiroyuki Sanada has played small roles in a lot of very popular franchises, so you’ve likely seen him around. The actor played Dogen on Lost, Akihiko in Avengers: Endgame, Musashi in Westworld, Bly Tanaka in Zack Snyder’s recent Netflix hit Army of the Dead, and Scorpion for the new Mortal Kombat. And now, he’s about to add another major franchise to the list. According to Collider, Hiroyuki Sanada is teaming up with Keanu Reeves for John Wick 4. The movie fits right into action film history.
Just yesterday we learned that Wesley Snipes was offered a role in John Wick 4, so if the Mortal Kombat star joins the cast, he’ll be in excellent action movie company. Both Keanu Reeves and Wesley Snipes make it on to many of the internet’s lists for the best action movie stars of all time, so the fourth installment for the franchise is clearly working to promise big things.
Collider hears that Mortal Kombat’s Hiroyuki Sanada will be playing a character named Watanabe, and while they say their sources know that Watanabe is a key character with an important role, they don’t have more details on how that role plays into the plot. So far, the John Wick 4 plot has been kept tightly under wraps. The only new character that people are saying they have a strong handle on is the one going to be played by Donnie Yen. The actor, most well-known for his time in Rogue One for Star Wars, will be playing a long time friend of John Wick’s. The pair will have many of the same enemies. Note the plural in “enemies”. It seems likely that Hiroyuki Sanada could be playing an enemy of Keanu Reeves’s character. Wesley Snipes may be offered a similar role.
The Mortal Kombat star has actually been acting for most of his life. He was born in 1960 in Japan, and has been acting since the mid-1960s. His acting career was mostly in Japanese films, but he joined Hollywood for a breakout with Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai. Since then, he’s been in many films and television programs. He has even already worked with Keanu Reeves on 47 Ronin.
Joining the Mortal Kombat star and other newcomers to the John Wick franchise will be Laurence Fishburne, who has played The Bowery King previously. While there are new writers on board for this fourth installment, Chad Stahelski has stayed on as director and Laurence Fishburne has given stamp of approval on the script, saying it goes much deeper than previous films. That’s something you want to see happen in a sequel. At this time, the studio hasn’t confirmed Hiroyuki Sanada’s role in the Keanu Reeves franchise, but it seems likely that Collider is accurate.
Hopefully, that means they’ll stay on target for production. Filming for John Wick 4 should be happening this summer. Hopefully, Mortal Kombat 2 won’t have any production days that interfere. While we’ve heard that Mortal Kombat 2 is likely happening, and in a rush, they’re likely still getting their script and production dates together, so John Wick 4 may be filmed before they’re even ready for Hiroyuki Sanada on Kombat.
Right now, assuming they stay on schedule, the Keanu Reeves movie is set to release in theaters on May 27, 2022.