Hiroyuki Sanada has reportedly joined the cast of John Wick: Chapter 4.
According to Deadline, the Japanese-born actor has landed an “undisclosed role” in the upcoming sequel, which will begin production this summer in Europe and Asia. Sanada will star alongside Laurence Fishburne, Rina Sawayama, Shamier Anderson, Donnie Yen, and Keanu Reeves, who has played the film’s titular protagonist since 2014. The film will be directed by Chad Stahelski, who helmed the franchises’ first three installments.
“Having long admired Hiroyuki as both actor and action performer, I’m thrilled and honored to welcome him to the John Wick family,” Stahelski told Deadline.
Although plot details remain sparse, Fishburne recently told Collider the John Wick 4 script was “really, really cool.” He also name-dropped a new character, whom some believe will be played by Sanada.
“As much as it’s the same world as the other three films, it’s just deeper,” Fishburne said. “It’s much deeper in terms of the code of the assassin and the relationship that he has with one character in particular who I think Mr. Watanabe is playing … is really the heart and soul of it.”
Entertainment reporter Priscilla Page revealed that Sanada was originally offered the role of Zero in John Wick 3, but turned it down to to portray Akihiko in Avengers: Endgame.
is it too much of an Avengers: Endgame spoiler for me to say: what a fucking waste of Hiroyuki Sanada— priscilla page (@BBW_BFF) May 12, 2019
Sanada has reportedly stared in more than 55 movies and dozens of TV shows, including 2021’s Mortal Kombat and Army of the Dead as well as HBO’s Westworld and ABC’s Lost.
John Wick: Chapter 4 is expected to hit U.S. theaters on May 27, 2022. Lionsgate has not announced when the fifth stallment will be released.