John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum is already available on digital store fronts. The Blu-Ray and 4k disc will be available for purchase on September 10th. More importantly, we already know that John Wick: Chapter 4 is in development set to release on M̶a̶y̶ ̶2̶1̶,̶ ̶2̶0̶2̶1 May 27, 2022 (date changed due to Covid-19) . With that in mind, here are some action stars who would be amazing in the next movie.
Here’s the thing though: Not every action star is appropriate for this franchise. After three movies, it’s clear that whoever stars in these movies needs to be an action star who exhibits a gracefulness in action, even if the action itself is brutally violent. Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Willis in their prime wouldn’t be appropriate for this franchise. You need action stars who can commit to the elegant carnage. Someone more contemporary like Jason Statham or Gerard Butler wouldn’t be appropriate either. Then again, Halle Berry knocked her role out of the park, so anything is possible!
THE RAID CREW
It can, and should be, argued that the Raid movies are more or less responsible for the 2010 decade being the decade of elevated action. The first alumni from the Raid franchise, Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman, made their debut in Chapter 3 — Parabellum. Chapter 4 ought to have one of these actors from The Raid movies. (Also, for what it’s worth, The Night Comes for Us was not directed by Gareth Evans, but features so many Raid actors that it feels like The Raid 2.5.)
Uwais is definitely the most forward-facing member of this crew. He was the protagonist in both Raid movies and the lead antagonist in The Night Comes for Us. So far he’s had the most exposure in the world of action cinema of all his other Raid peers. And he’s already worked with Keanu Reeves! He had a cameo in Reeves’ directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi.
Movies to check out: The Raid: Redemption, The Raid 2, Headshot, The Night Comes for Us, Triple Threat
Taslim started off as a supporting character in The Raid: Redemption. Since then he’s slowly, but surely carved out a path for himself. He’s had bit parts in Fast & Furious 6, Star Trek Beyond, and landed lead role in The Night Comes for Us. More recently he’s had a role in the Cinemax show Warrior and is set to play Sub-Zero in the forthcoming Mortal Kombat reboot.
Movies to check out: The Raid: Redemption, Star Trek Beyond, The Night Comes for Us
Estelle needs her own action franchise ASAP. Appearing in John Wick Chapter 4 would probably be the next best thing. She has a one-two punch of playing characters who are standouts and deserve spinoffs. The first was Hammer Girl in The Raid 2. The other was The Operator in The Night Comes for Us. These two characters are all that is needed to show she’s the real deal and deserves to headline her own action movie.
Movies to check out: The Raid 2, Headshot, The Night Comes for Us
You may not realize this, but over the past ten years or so, direct-to-video (or more recently direct-to-streaming) action movies have turned from jokes into awesome, no-frills action movies. (In this section you’ll see Triple Threat name checked a lot. That’s because it is basically the Avengers team up movie for DTV action stars. It is a joy.)
Adkins and his collaborators have a strong claim to being godfathers of the new DTV action movement. More often than not, the movies Adkins makes are lean action pictures with a clarity to fight choreography that puts mega blockbusters to shame. Nearly every movie he’s made is entertaining to some degree. Adkins secret weapon is that he’s a pretty decent actor in his own right. His recent string of movies has let him flex his acting chops along with impeccable fight skills.
Movies to check out: Undisputed 2: Last Man Standing, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear, The Debt Collector, Triple Threat
MICHAEL JAI WHITE
White might be most famous as Spawn from the 1997 movie or as a gangster the Joker kills in The Dark Knight. But where he really shines is the DTV scene. His movie Blood and Bone is often cited as one of the all time great DTV action movies. As we saw in John Wick Chapter 3, there is room for comedy in the franchise. Michael Jai White’s Black Dynamite showed his underrated comedic skills as well.
Movies to check out: Undisputed 2: Last Man Standing, Blood and Bone, Falcon Rising, Triple Threat
Jaa, once the wunderkind of action movies in the early 2000s, kind of disappeared for a while. He came back with a vengeance though and reminded everyone what he was capable of with a string of great action movies. His Michael Jackson-esque character in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage was a lot of fun.
Movies to check out: Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior, Kill Zone 2, Triple Threat
Grillo is a bit of an odd duck in this category. He’s appeared in some MCU movies and was the lead in two of The Purge movies. However, some of his more interesting work has been in the DTV sphere. At any rate, his screen presence and background in martial arts could make him a formidable foe in John Wick 4.
Movies to check out: Wheelman, Point Blank
THE OLD GUARD
These are actors who have already cemented their legacy in the pantheon of action cinema. Their appearance in a John Wick movie would be a nod to their career. Of course, if any of them participate in an action scene audiences would be overjoyed.
Is Chow Yun-Fat the coolest person ever to appear in an action movie? Yes. No debate. His roles in John Woo’s masterpieces, The Killer and Hard Boiled, make Yun-Fat a face who could be on the Mt. Rushmore of action cinema. Keanu Reeves and Chow Yun-Fat need to be in a movie together. This is not a request.
Movies to check out: The Killer, Hard Boiled, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Michelle Yeoh is the queen of action flicks. Who else on the planet would have been able to match pace with Jackie Chan in Supercop?
Movies to check out: Supercop, Heroic Trio, Tai Chi Master (aka Twin Warriors), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Everyone knows Jackie Chan and that he’s one of the all time greats. However, in recent years, either due to old age or bad film choices, his stock in action cinema has fallen. Appearing in a John Wick movie could be one final send off before retiring.
Movies to check out: Operation Condor, Supercop, The Legend of Drunken Master, Rumble in the Bronx
JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME
JCVD straddles the line between Old Guard and DTV Stars. You may not know this but he is putting in some career best work in the DTV arena. Now that he’s a bit older, his screen presence has become one hundred times more interesting. He’s been forced to rely more on his acting ability than splits and it’s paying off in spades.
Movies to check out: JCVD, Universal Solder: Regeneration, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, Kickboxer: Vengeance, Kickboxer: Retaliation
If you don’t think Ip Man himself shouldn’t be in a John Wick movie then you are beyond help. Donnie Yen is the quintessential action star. A fight between Keanu and Donnie would be absolutely legendary. No question about it.
Movies to check out: Flash Point, Ip Man, Ip Man 2, Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen
Of course, not all of these stars need to appear in the next movie. Gotta save some for a (hopeful) fifth or even sixth movie! Which stars do you think should be in the next John Wick movie? Comment below!