The highly successful John Wick franchise will welcome Hong Kong martial arts superstar Donnie Yen in the fourth instalment. Deadline reported that he will play an old friend of assassin John Wick "who shares his same history and many of the same enemies." Filming is scheduled to begin later this summer in France, Germany and Japan.
Producer Basil Iwanyk said in an interview: “Donnie will bring a vibrant and powerful energy to the franchise. 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.”
Known for his portrayal of Ip Man, the grandmaster of a martial arts style known as Wing Chun, in movies, Yen has been making inroads in Hollywood with major roles in Rogue One (2016) and Mulan (2020). Before he found success as an actor, Yen was an acclaimed action choreographer, winning awards for his work in SPL: Sha Po Lang and Dragon Tiger Gate, among others. He was trained in wushu at a young age, and counted Jet Li as classmate.
As an actor, Yen has a prolific output, but he finally ascended to superstar status when he took on the role of Ip Man in 2008; the commercial and critical hit would spawn three sequels.