John Wick: Chapter 3 is reportedly casting Japanese actors and may end up filming in Japan, among other locations around the world. The original John Wick wasn't necessarily designed with the intention of kicking off a franchise, but that's exactly what it wound up doing. Starring Keanu Reeves as the titular hitman, John Wick became a cult box office success through word of mouth and has since given rise to VR first-person shooters and comic books, along with a movie sequel. John Wick: Chapter 2 was arguably even more of a critical darling than its predecessor and nearly doubled its gross in theaters worldwide, thus ensuring that a third installment will happen.
Shooting on John Wick: Chapter 3 is now about a month away, with Reeves set to reprise the Wick character for a third time, and director Chad Stahelski and screenwriter Derek Kolstad also returning. Among the new players reportedly set to appear in Chapter 3 is Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine), who is tapped to play the mysterious antagonist of the film. It now appears that Sanada won't be the only Japanese cast member in the movie, and that Japan itself could be one of the locales that Mr. Wick pays a visit to over the course of his next adventure.
Omega Underground is reporting that John Wick: Chapter 3 is casting Japanese actors, which further suggests that the story about Sanada joining the cast is accurate. While the site hasn't been able to confirm that Japan is a shooting location for the film just yet, this casting update certainly lends some credibility to the prospect. In addition to Montreal (once again subbing for New York City), Chapter 3 is shaping up to a proper globe-trotting romp that could potentially include Japan, Spain, Russia, and Jerusalem (as "played" by Morocco) amongst its backdrops.
As Omega Underground notes, it's possible that Sanada is playing a member of the High Table in John Wick: Chapter 3, and that the film will reveal where the Japanese Yakuza fit into the underworld of assassins and professional killers established in the previous John Wick movies. Stahelski previously revealed that Chapter 3 will explore "where John comes from", so it's further plausible that Sanada's character and/or the Yakuza will somehow be connected to John's backstory and may even appear in flashbacks to his past (assuming the movie has any). Official casting news for the film ought to be coming very soon and could shed more light on these matters when it arrives.
Much like John Wick: Chapter 2 was heavier on the world-building that helped to earn John Wick its loyal fanbase, these details indicate that Chapter 3 will be even more ambitious and continue to expand the scope of the franchise's comic book-esque mythology. The hope is that the film doesn't lose sight of John's personal journey, even as it pushes to make the character's world feel even bigger and more dangerous than it was before. Stahelski's comments about Chapter 3 delving deeper into John's history and how he came to be who he is are encouraging in that respect, and bode well for what could wind up being a proper conclusion to the John Wick trilogy.
Source: Omega Underground
- John Wick: Chapter 3 (2019) release date: May 17, 2019