Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen has been cast in John Wick 4, opposite Keanu Reeves.
Deadline.com reported that Yen will be playing an old friend of John Wick, who shares similar past to Reeves’ hitman and they have many of the same enemies.
The 57-year-old Chinese was recently seen in the film Enter The Fat Dragon and Disney’s live-action flick Mulan, where he played Commander Tung.
A certified martial artist himself, Yen brilliantly portrayed Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man in four Ip Man movies (2008,2010,2015 and 2019).
It should be interesting to see how Yen’s many fighting skills will be incorporated into the successful John Wick franchise.
John Wick 3 featured Indonesian martial artists-actors Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman in supporting roles.
Basil Iwanyk, John Wick 4 producer, told Deadline: “Donnie Yen will bring a vibrant and powerful energy to the franchise.
“We were determined to bring him on board to John Wick 4 and are thrilled for the opportunity to have such a major talent to collaborate with Keanu.”
The film director Chad Stahelski concurred that the production is lucky to have Yen join the franchise.
Stahelski said: “I am looking forward to working with him in this exciting new role.”
The project is said to begin production soon, with filming to take place in France, Germany and Japan.
It was also announced recently that Japanese-British pop superstar Rina Sawayama was cast in John Wick 4. She would be making her acting debut in a leading role.
John Wick franchise started in 2014 as a low-budget action movie. It centres on a retired hitman who gets back to killing mode after a two-bit baddie steals his car and kills his dog.
It became a huge hit and kickstarted a successful franchise – two hit sequels, this upcoming chapter four and a green-lit fifth movie.
In the works too are a spin-off TV show, The Continental, which will be set in the 1970s, and a spin-off film about a female assassin titled Ballerina.