While the idea of adding Wesley Snipes to the John Wick world sounds cool, it was not meant to be. Although there were reportedly "some discussions" about Snipes joining the franchise, the Coming 2 America star will not be in John Wick: Chapter 4. The movie is scheduled to hit theaters a year from now and will still feature stars new to the franchise, including Hiroyuki Sanada and Donnie Yen.
Earlier this week, The Illuminerdi reported Snipes was "in talks" to play a swordsman character. Unfortunately, just a few hours later The Hollywood Reporter's Borys Kit confirmed Snipes is missing out on the chance to duel Keanu Reeves. "Despite some reports, action star [Snipes] is NOT going to be in [John Wick 4]. There were some discussions a little while ago but it didn't work out," Kit reported.
Snipes might be missing, but the John Wick 4 cast will still be packed with talented action stars to challenge Reeves' title character. Sanada joined the cast on Thursday. He recently starred in Netflix's Army of the Dead and New Line's Mortal Kombat. His other credits include Westworld, The Twilight Samurai, The Wolverine, Life, and the upcoming Bullet Train. He previously worked with Reeves on 47 Ronin in 2013. "Having long admired Hiroyuki as both actor and action performer, I’m thrilled and honored to welcome him to the John Wick family," director Chad Stahelski told Deadline.
John Wick: Chapter 4 will also star Yen, Rina Swayama, Shamier Anderson, and Bill Skarsgard. Production is supposed to start this summer on location in France, Germany, and Japan. Shay Hatten and Michael Finch wrote the script and Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, and Stahelski are production. Stahelski directed the first three movies in the franchise. Derek Kolstad wrote the first two films.
Lionsgate originally planned to film both the fourth and fifth John Wick entries at the same time. Those plans were scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic, so Chapter 4 is the only one in production at the moment, Collider reported in March. A spin-off titled Ballerina is also reportedly in the works. In October 2019, Len Wiseman was hired to direct.
"The director has a lot to do, especially someone as stylistic and as good as Len is," Stahelski told The Hollywood Reporter in May 2020 about Wiseman's project. "Having him on board and approaching some of the action design from a slightly different perspective, meaning the set pieces, the character involvement, how and what he wants to do during the action sequences, makes it kind of fresh. So, we’re not just copying ourselves over and over again with gun-fu or something like that. And because the character is different, we’re going to get a different take on things. But as far as the level, the competence or the style of action? Yes. I plan to be there to assist whenever I can. And our 87eleven stunt team will be very actively involved in helping Len in all his action needs." John Wick: Chapter 4 opens on May 27, 2022.