Keanu Reeves says ‘John Wick’ heavily inspired by Japanese culture, anime

Keanu Reeves says ‘John Wick’ heavily inspired by Japanese culture, animeKeanu Reeves says ‘John Wick’ heavily inspired by Japanese culture, anime
via Lionsgate Movies
Bryan Ke
February 6, 2023

Keanu Reeves recently revealed that “John Wick” is heavily influenced by Japanese culture, cinema, anime and Bushido, the samurai’s code.
Speaking in the 334th issue of Total Film, Reeves, 58, opened up about the fourth installment of the “John Wick” franchise and the inspiration behind the strict code that assassins of that world have to follow to heart.

Japanese anime and Japanese filmmaking have definitely been something I’ve loved and have been influenced by. And bushido is definitely a theme in our film – you know, the code of the samurai – so, from the outside, it feels like a great fit, the idea of honor and sacrifice. There’s definitely a strong Japanese influence.

Besides Reeves, “John Wick” film series director Chad Stahelski is also noted to be a passionate fan of Japanese cinema and culture, with legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa being Stahelski’s biggest inspiration. Some of Kurosawa’s most famous films include “Rashomon” (1950), “Seven Samurai” (1954) and “Yojimbo” (1961).
Bushido has been an ever-present philosophy throughout the “John Wick” franchise, from when the titular hero sought deadly justice for the death of his puppy to characters’ adherence to the strict rules of the “High Table.”
The code of honor, which emerged among the samurai during the feudal Japan era, lists eight virtues that Japanese warriors must strictly abide by: justice, courage, compassion, respect, integrity, honor, loyalty and self-control.
Joining Reeves in “John Wick: Chapter 4” are “Ip Man” star Donnie Yen, Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada and Japanese British singer Rina Sawayama.
John Wick: Chapter 4” is scheduled for release on March 24.

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