John Wick 4’s Strong Japanese Influence Explained By Keanu Reeves

John Wick: Chapter 4’s strong Japanese influence is explained by Keanu Reeves, who credits anime and Japanese filmmaking for the movie’s inspiration.

Keanu Reeves is crediting Japanese influences for John Wick: Chapter 4. The John Wick franchise follows the story of a legendary assassin who loses his beloved puppy in a brutal attack that pulls him out of retirement. Now seeking vengeance and freedom from his career, Wick desperately works to find some way to escape back to his quiet life.

While the action franchise has always been influenced by martial arts movies, the upcoming John Wick: Chapter 4 will be taking direct inspiration from Japanese anime and filmmaking. In an interview with Total Film, Reeves revealed just how central Japanese influences have been on the movie. Check out his quote below, via CBR:


“Japanese anime and Japanese filmmaking have definitely been something I’ve loved and have been influenced by. And bushido is definitely a theme in our film – you know, the code of the samurai – so, from the outside, it feels like a great fit, the idea of honor and sacrifice. There’s definitely a strong Japanese influence.”

Related: 1 Villain Change In John Wick 4 Can Help The Franchise

Why Bushido Is So Important To John Wick

John Wick Chapter 4

The assassins in the world of John Wick: Chapter 4 and its Continental Hotel are fierce warriors who follow a very strict code of honor that they rarely ever breach. Their markers — amulets with bloody fingerprints inside — are a feature of that code and, if given away, the assassin must do one favor for whoever holds it. Anyone who violates the marker is immediately sentenced to death.

The reality of the marker — and the Continental’s terms of protection — makes the universe feel richer and the characters more compelling. Even as Baba Yaga, John Wick still needs to abide by the code, or else his life is forfeit, and the concept makes for interesting conflicts. Without that element, John Wick: Chapter 4 could feel like little more than a generic action flick, rather than a story taking place in an established world with a mythology of its own.

Everything We Know About John Wick Chapter 4

John Wick Chapter 4

A film delayed multiple times thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, John Wick: Chapter 4 is finally set to release on March 24 and promises to feature Wick taking on the High Table. Wick will be continuing his crusade to find a way to retirement, even if it means killing the most skilled assassins in the world. Unfortunately, as it can be difficult to trust anyone in Wick’s world, John Wick: Chapter 4 stars are already teasing a major betrayal that can change everything Wick knows about his life.

More: John Wick 4’s Surprising Story Sets Up A Fifth Movie

Source: Total Film (via CBR)

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