John Wick: Chapter 4 Trailer Breakdown: The Baba Yaga Finally Meets His Match (Or Maybe Not)

You can run, you can hide, and you can even go out and dry clean your finest bulletproof suit, but none of it will matter because the Baba Yaga is back ... again. In what has become one of the most bloodthirsty sagas of our modern action era, "John Wick: Chapter 4" is set to continue the harrowing adventures of one man simply trying to get out of the assassin game for good, no matter how many headshots and sword fights he has to get through first. Even diehard fans of the original 2014 masterpiece couldn't have envisioned the Keanu Reeves-starring thriller to spawn three sequels and counting (along with a spin-off series, which will star Ana de Armas and was recently confirmed to feature Reeves reprising his role as Wick). But here we are, over eight years later, looking forward to the fourth installment in a series that serves as the ultimate cautionary tale for reading the fine print whenever you sign on for a new job.

Left for dead at the end of "Chapter 3: Parabellum" and with the full might of the Table set against him, the newly-released trailer for "Chapter 4" sees our favorite dog-loving assassin back and bleaker than ever — and even more desperate to finally put this stringently rule-abiding underworld life behind him. The footage comes loaded with all the Wick-isms we've come to know and love: dialogue full of portents and double meaning, further explorations into the unique world-building of this assassin's guild, and, yes, no shortage of incredible stunts, head-exploding shootouts, and a whole new villain standing in the way of Wick's freedom.

So let's get right to it and obsess over every little detail revealed in this new trailer.

Donnie freakin' Yen joins the Wick-verse

The original "John Wick" boasted a murderer's row of talent inhabiting every role, major or minor, from Reeves to Willem Dafoe to Alfie Allen to Adrianne Palicki to John Leguizamo to the late, great Michael Nyqvist. In the years since, each follow-up has seemingly taken that as a dare to somehow one-up itself with as many A-list stars and surprising cameo appearances as possible. As if recurring roles for Lance Reddick and Ian McShane weren't enough of a treat, "Chapter 4" will up the ante with one of the franchise's greatest castings yet: the legendary Donnie Yen.

Opening up with an ominous conversation between Yen's mysterious character Caine and Reeves' Wick in a candlelit church perfectly sets the tone for the action to come, making us even more excited to see the actors behind "IP Man" and "The Matrix" inevitably come to blows. But here, at least, what seems like an uneasy truce between them provides a quiet moment to discuss Wick's long-dead wife Helen (played by Bridget Moynahan) and whisper one last threat to each other. Yen's matter-of-fact delivery of "You're going to die" is all but met with a shrug of "Maybe not." You may have a point there, Mr. Wick.

'A new day is dawning'

Another "John Wick" sequel, another batch of new faces from the assassin's guild looking to ruin Wick's day, and another international star cast in what will hopefully be a major role. "Chapter 4" will feature actor Hiroyuki Sanada's official introduction into the Wick-verse as well, reuniting with Reeves after appearing together in 2013's "47 Ronin" and playing the role of a character named Shimazu ... who may have a deeper history with Wick than it might seem. Though only glimpsed briefly in this trailer, his arrival is teased with the narrated line of "A new day is dawning." Spoken by the film's primary antagonist played by Bill Skarsgård and almost certainly referring to his own intrusion into the story, the editing nevertheless feels like a statement of intent that this won't become yet another Hollywood blockbuster to waste the talents of Sanada. A new day, indeed!

A villain unmasked

After a flurry of images teasing the return of Reddick's hotel manager Charon, Marko Zaror as a formidable-looking henchman drenched in neon green lighting (alas, there is nary a shot of direct-to-video action king Scott Adkins to be seen), and pop singer Rina Sawayama in her feature film debut as a character named Akira, we finally get to set our sights on the unseen voice droning on about "New ideas, new rules, new management." Bill Skarsgård's impeccably dressed Marquis de Gramont all but oozes a sense of menace, making this the latest film since this year's "Barbarian," 2021's "Eternals" (which employed his voice talents for the villainous Kro), and, of course, both "It" movies to take full advantage of the performer's natural talent for playing sinister characters.

The trailer established the Marquis as one final test for Wick to win his way out from the clutches of the High Table. The catch? An old Western-styled duel to the death in single combat. Whatever happens, our main character will end up out of the game afterwards — permanently. The sequels have delved ever deeper into the machinations of the Continental hotel, the High Table, and the bizarre rules and regulations that every hitman follows to the letter (well, almost every hitman). After "Chapter 2" introduced the idea of a blood oath and "Parabellum" showed the consequences of breaking such an agreement, it seems that "Chapter 4" will be going even deeper with this delightfully old-fashioned trial by combat system.

Family: can't live with 'em and can't live without 'em

Don't let the increased focus on the distinctive world-building of the "Wick" franchise distract you from the fact that "Chapter 4" will be further exploring even more uncharted territory: John Wick's family. In the same conversation where Ian McShane's Winston tells Wick about the Marquis, he drops another fascinating little nugget. When Wick protests that he doesn't sit at the Table, Winston responds enigmatically, "Your family does." Though that can be taken in many ways other than strictly literal, the next character we see Wick approach is one played by Natalie Tena ... who certainly is dressed up to look very reminiscent of Wick himself. Whether this be a long-lost sister, a different previously-unknown family relation, or someone else altogether, this will certainly be someone to keep tabs on the lead-up to the film's release.


After the relatively confined scope and scale of the original "John Wick" movie, which took place largely in and around New York City, each and every one of the sequels have greatly expanded the action (along with their budgets). From Rome to Casablanca to the deserts of Morocco, Wick's quest to get back to that retired life has taken him anywhere and everywhere except the place he most wants to go ... home. After previous reports indicated that "Chapter 4" would take things even further on a global scale, this trailer quickly confirms that the action will take us to Manhattan, Paris, another desert locale (likely Jordan), Japan, and Germany. Every step of the way, it looks like Wick will have to deal with a veritable army of fellow assassins out to get him with dogs, axes, swords, nunchucks, and an endless supply of bullets. In other words? Exactly how he likes it.

More stylish visuals

The "John Wick" movies have always had something for everyone: high octane action and practical stunts, stellar hand-to-hand fight choreography that the performers themselves trained for endlessly, refreshingly clear editing, and a gorgeous visual palette that ensures every new location, character, and set piece simply pops off the screen. Director Chad Stahelski and cinematographer Dan Laustsen have always had a keen eye behind the camera, partnering up on every "Wick" film since "Chapter Two" and consistently redefining the look of this franchise so it never looks stale or forgettable. Cinema is a visual medium, after all, and the slick directing, gorgeous lighting, and unparalleled production design have gone a long way towards making this heightened world feel a little easier for audiences to buy into. These are the kinds of movies that were made for the big screen, folks.

A(nother) heavyweight fight

Much of "Chapter 4" looks as if it will revolve around the showdown between John Wick and the Marquis de Gramont, likely reserved for the climactic set piece that ought to rival any of the previous knock-down, drag-out fights featured in all of the previous movies. But audiences have learned by now that these films will never skimp on the action, setting us up for several action scenes that should make the price of admission well worth it. One such sequence teased throughout the trailer is the promised brawl between Wick and his one-time friend now turned foe, Caine. It's unclear exactly how Donnie Yen's character gets involved in this sprawling tale or what grudge he has against Wick specifically, but the glimpses we see of the two action icons in the thick of their fight is more than enough to leave us wanting more.

"John Wick: Chapter 4" will explode into theaters on March 24, 2023.

John Wick (Keanu Reeves) uncovers a path to defeating the High Table. But before he can earn his freedom, Wick must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe and forces that turn old friends into foes.