John Wick 3 Has Reportedly Found Its Villain

Hiroyuki Sanada in Helix

Danger lurks around every corner in John Wick's world, especially now that the eponymous protagonist has been ostracized from the assassin community following the events of John Wick: Chapter 2. It's been nearly a full year since the sequel was released and earned performed amazingly both critically and commercially, just like its predecessor. John Wick 3 was finally confirmed to be in development last summer, with its 2019 release being penciled in a few months later. Now there's word that the threequel has already recruited The Wolverine actor Hiroyuki Sanada to play the main villain.

The next time we see John Wick leaving a trail of bodies in his wake on the big screen, he'll reportedly be going up against the head of Japanese crime syndicate, a.k.a. Hiroyuki Sanada's character, who isn't named. Along with playing Shingen Yashida in The Wolverine, Sanada's resume includes Speed Racer, Mr. Holmes, Helix, Revenge and The Last Ship. He will also appear next year in Avengers 4 as a yet-to-be-identified character. Keanu Reeves previously worked with Sanada on 2013's 47 Ronin, although in that movie their characters were allies, unlike the dynamic they'll supposedly have in John Wick 3.

Along with reporting about Hiroyuki Sanada's involvement, That Hashtag Show also provided details on other participants in John Wick 3, both new and returning. Among the familiar faces who are expected to appear are Laurence Fishburne's Bower King and Ruby Rose's Ares, the latter of whom was last seen being stabbed by John Wick in Chapter 2. Director Chad Stahelski is also expected to reprise his helming duties. As for the newcomers, besides Sanada's Japanese crime boss, Lionsgate is searching for an actress in her late 20s to early 40s to play the female lead. Reeves is also apparently interested in bringing Tilda Swinton onto John Wick 3, though that's not necessarily to play that particular role.

After killing Santino D'Antonio on Continental grounds in John Wick: Chapter 2, John Wick was declared "excommunicado," which stripped him of all his underworld resources and privileges. Making matters even worse, the bounty that was already on John's head had been doubled and was being offered globally. However, his friend Winston, the owner of the Continental Hotel in New York City, delayed announcing John's new status by one hour to give him a head start, as well as gave him a Marker for the future. Now on the run, evidently John will make enemies with Hiroyuki Sanada's character in John Wick 3 while trying to stay alive.

John Wick 3 will be released in theaters on May 17, 2019, and filming is reported beginning on March 1 in New York City, with Spain and Russia also being potential filming sites. Keep checking in with CinemaBlend for news on how the third movie is coming along, and look through our 2018 premiere guide to find out what movies are coming out this year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.