The bright future of 2022 is starting to dim. Lionsgate announced Wednesday that the studio had delayed the release of John Wick 4 — again. The movie will now hit theaters in March 2023, nearly two years later than originally promised. It’s the third time the studio has delayed the Keanu Reeves-led action film.
It’s unclear why Lionsgate pushed back John Wick 4’s release date by 10 months. Though, Variety noted that it could have been to avoid fighting it out with Top Gun: Maverick at the box office. That long-awaited sequel will now release on May 27, 2022, the previously planned opening for John Wick. The studio announced the delay with a video featuring the accountants, the heavily-tattooed operators who maintain the infrastructure for the hidden world of hitmen in the franchise.
Lionsgate originally planned to release the movie on May 21, 2021, the same day as The Matrix: Resurrections. But the pandemic forced producers to delay filming on both films. COVID-19 has laid waste to movie studios’ release schedules. Disney announced in October it would delay its entire slate of upcoming Marvel movies along with Indiana Jones 5. Nearly every mainstream blockbuster set to come out this year or last has had its release date changed at least once.
Keanu Reeves and company finished filming John Wick 4 earlier this year. They’ll start filming John Wick 5 soon. Lionsgate greenlit the fourth and fifth movies in the franchise just after Chapter 3 – Parabellum released in theaters in 2019. That movie made a series-high $327 million worldwide and the studio wanted to set up the future of the franchise with several sequels, Variety reported.
Keanu Reeves Teases Opening for ‘John Wick 4’
The initial shooting delay ended up being a positive for John Wick 4, Keanu Reeves said recently. He told Esquire the extra time allowed for the directors and stunt teams to work on the movie’s set-pieces. Reeves said he’s particularly excited for audiences to see the opening of the movie.
“There’s a sequence — hopefully, knock on wood … in John Wick 4, the opening sequence,” he said. “John Wick is back in the desert on a horse. I’m going to hopefully be able to fast-gallop and run.”
Reeves said he spent weeks working with a horse-riding instructor for the scene.
Along with the big stunts and over-the-top violence, John Wick 4 also boasts a large cast of big-named actors. Lawrence Fishburne, Ian McShane, and Lance Riddick are all returning to the series. But the movie will add Hiroyuki Sanada, Donnie Yen, Clancy Brown, Rina Sawayama, and Shamier Anderson.