‘John Wick 4’ Set for Secret Screening at SXSW

Mar 15, 2023

Anticipation for John Wick: Chapter 4 continues to build, with moviegoers eager for the next chapter in Lionsgate’s action thriller saga. Fans will soon have a chance to get an early look at the fourth installment in the series, as Variety has reported that John Wick: Chapter 4 will screen at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas.

Sources told Variety that the film will be screened at the upcoming festival, which will be held from March 10 to March 19, 2023. Neither Lionsgate nor SXSW would comment on the screening, likely in an attempt to preserve the moviegoing experience. However, it is known that John Wick: Chapter 4 will be SXSW’s ‘secret screening’ this year—a film not listed in the festival’s official program in order to generate buzz and hype about the project. It is unknown how many tickets will be available for the screening, and while the details on grabbing a seat are unclear, sources said that the process will involve some type of digital marketing. Collider editor-in-chief Steve Weintraub reported that both the film’s star Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski are likely to be in attendance, and said he was “95% sure they will be there to introduce the movie or do a Q&A after.”
While John Wick: Chapter 4’s secret screening is clearly a promotion for the film, it’s been generating plenty of anticipation on its own. A synopsis says that the film will see Reeves back in action as the titular John Wick, as he “takes on his most lethal adversaries yet in the upcoming fourth installment of the series. With the price on his head ever-increasing, Wick takes his fight against the High Table global as he seeks out the most powerful players in the underworld, from New York to Paris to Osaka to Berlin.” The film will feature a number of returning characters from the previous installments, including Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane, and Lance Reddick. A number of new A-listers have joined the cast as well, including Donnie Yen and Bill Skarsgård. Director Stahelski is also producing alongside Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee.

Image via Lionsgate

RELATED: Watch Keanu Reeves Recap the ‘John Wick’ Franchise in 60 Seconds

While John Wick: Chapter 4 had its world premiere in London in early March, the SXSW event will mark the film’s first domestic screening. The John Wick series has previously grossed nearly $600 million at the worldwide box office, and the fourth installment is currently tracking to have a domestic debut of around $60 to $70 million, which would be the best opening of the franchise so far. Lionsgate is no stranger to unveiling big films at SXSW, as last year’s festival saw the studio premiere Tom Gormican’s action comedy film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, starring Nicolas Cage as a fictionalized version of himself alongside Pedro Pascal.

Early reactions to John Wick: Chapter 4 have heaped significant praise on the film, with some calling it the best in the series. Weintraub called the film “f**cking awesome,” adding that he “had to pick my jaw off the ground from some of the insane and inventive set pieces.” This sentiment was shared by Collider features editor Therese Lacson, who said the film was “an action-packed, bloody, kill-fest, and that’s what makes it good!”

John Wick: Chapter 4 will be released in theaters by Lionsgate on March 23, 2023. Collider’s interview with Reeves about the film can be seen below:

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