John Wick: Chapter 4 sees John pursuing a new path to defeating the High Table after being shot by Winston in Parabellum. Hoping to earn his freedom, John is taking the fight to them, but the High Table sends one of their most dangerous agents yet, the Marquis Vincent de Gramont. As the Marquis hunts the Baba Yaga, old friends become foes, making John’s fight even more personal.
Director Chad Stahelski helms John Wick: Chapter 4 with a star-studded cast led by Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick, and Ian McShane. Newcomers to the John Wick universe include Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, Rina Sawayama, Scott Adkins, and Clancy Brown. The John Wick franchise continues to grow with four installments, a spin-off film, Ballerina, and a spin-off series, The Continental, on the way.
Screen Rant spoke with Hiroyuki Sanada and Shamier Anderson about joining the cast of John Wick: Chapter 4. Anderson explained his approach to Tracker and pitches an intriguing spin-off. Sanada shared the Samurai influence he infused into the role and broke down the brotherhood of John Wick, Shimazu, and Caine.
Hiroyuki Sanada & Shamier Anderson on John Wick: Chapter 4
Screen Rant: Amazing job on this film. The John Wick franchise is one of those franchises that just gets better with each and every installment. Hiroyuki, can you talk to me about working with Donnie Yen and Keanu Reeves to create chemistry between the three of you, both in action and in friendship?
Hiroyuki Sanada: I play Koji Shimazu, old friend of John Wick, manager of Osaka Continental Hotel, and I have one daughter. And when I worked with Keanu 12 years ago, he told me about John Wick. He planned to make a big action movie with Chad, and then I said, “Ok, Good luck.”
This time, it was a great reunion with him, finally, in Chapter Four. I never worked with Donnie before, but somehow maybe because we’ve grown up in Asia industry. So somehow I felt like a long friend. So [our] triangle brotherhood [it’s easy] to create the chemistry.
Shamir, I love Tracker. He’s a fantastic new character, and he seems more military than everybody else. Can you talk to me about your approach to the character?
Shamier Anderson: I love that you brought up military because my research has that background. There’s definitely a military aspect there. I built an incredible backstory that I thought was incredible because it rooted him in humanity. And I think it’s important, in this fantastical world, that you try to find things that can anchor you in truth.
And so there’s a lot of cool things that I brought to the table, but one of them specifically that I pitched to Chad, our director, I said, “Listen, what if Tracker was watching the John Wick films as if there were a documentary? So he’s hyperaware of the world from a bird’s eye view, from a big brother aspect.” Why? Because that would allow him to really not listen to the rules. That’s why he calls himself Mr. Nobody. It’s why he doesn’t take the Marquis very seriously. It’s why he has his dog, and he goes “nuts.”
I think he comes to this world as a disrupter because he studied every single person. And I thought that was a cool attribute to kind of bring him into this world, similar to us as the audience going into the John Wick universe. So if we were to ever do a spin-off of a Tracker movie of any way, I really feel that we probably see Tracker observing John from the first movie all the way [through].
That would be an incredible premise for a Tracker film. I love that. A question for both of you guys: what did you guys want to bring to your roles that wasn’t necessarily on the page, and how much collaboration did you guys have with Chad?
Hiroyuki Sanada: Well, [for] my role, brotherhood is the most important thing. And also, Chad asked me to use a Japanese sword because he wanted to put some kind of Bushido spirit. So I tried to put in Samurai way or Samurai decision or something like that. That’s my background.
About John Wick Chapter 4
Following the events of Parabellum, John Wick has found a new path to defeating the High Table and is taking the fight to them. But before he can try to earn his freedom, a powerful new enemy will turn even more people against Wick, including one of his oldest and most dangerous friends.
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