Just a week after the news that John Wick: Chapter 4 was adding pop star Rina Sawayama to its cast, making her feature film debut, we have a similarly hard-hitting piece of additional casting news. Joining the fearsome “Baba Yaga” played by Keanu Reeves in the fourth sequel will be none other than martial arts legend and Ip Man series star Donnie Yen. Truly, it’s a match made in action movie heaven.
According to Deadline, Yen will be playing “an old friend of Reeves’ super assassin, who shares his same history and many of the same enemies.” We would presume that means Yen will be taking in a badly wounded Wick while he licks his wounds following the events of Chapter 3: Parabellum and plots revenge on The High Table.
Yen is one of the most popular and enduring faces of modern martial arts cinema, known to American action junkies ever since the likes of 1993’s classic Iron Monkey. He’s appeared in a number of Hollywood productions over the years, perhaps most notably as a blind warrior in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but the Ip Man series has likely become his most permanent and iconic role.
“Donnie Yen will bring a vibrant and powerful energy to the franchise,” said producer Basil Iwanyk. “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.”
John Wick: Chapter 4 was written by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch, and will be directed by Chad Stahelski, as in all previous installments of the series. It’s scheduled to begin production this summer, shooting on location in France, Germany and Japan.