John Wick 4: Who is Caine? Donnie Yen’s character explained

Donnie Yen as blind warrior Caine in John Wick: Chapter 4.Lionsgate

Action legend Donnie Yen makes his John Wick debut as Caine in Chapter 4. But who is this man of mystery? Here’s everything we know about the character, and how he connects to John’s past.

John Wick: Chapter 4 hits screens this week, with the film’s official synopsis as follows…

A new day is dawning in Wick’s world: new rules, new ideas, and new management, as personified by The High Table’s sadistic frontman, Marquis. But now, win or lose, Wick has a way out: challenge the Marquis to single combat. If Wick prevails, the Table will honor its word and Wick will no longer have a target on his back. Whatever the fateful outcome, John Wick knows that he left a good life behind a long time ago.

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Donnie Yen’s Caine has an important role to play in the story, so here’s how the character figures into John Wick: Chapter 4.

Who is Caine in John Wick 4?

Caine is both friend and foe to John Wick in Chapter 4. He’s also like a mirror image of the character, with the production describing him as follows…

“A lethal figure who made an extraordinary sacrifice because he did what an assassin should avoid at all costs: he loved. For Wick, it was his late, beloved wife, who succumbed to cancer. For Caine, it’s his precious daughter, whose safety The High Table threatens in order to secure Caine’s services.”

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Caine is also blind, which brings its own set of challenges, particularly when going into combat with John Wick. But Donnie Yen says it was all about finding a balance.

“I wanted him to be a complex, human character, and wondered how he could engage if he could not look Wick in the eyes,” Yen explained. “I had to find different ways for Caine to express himself. He’s a blind martial arts master who can take on dozens of opponents simultaneously, so he must be very skilled. Finding that balance between being sightless and physically gifted was challenging.”

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Yen also believed that Caine should be defined by his sense of style, saying: “I saw Caine as a mix between Steve McQueen and Bruce Lee. I remembered black-and-white interview footage in which Lee wore a skinny black tie and black suit, which I thought was pretty cool. It’s a classic look, and it works well for Caine.”

Why Donnie Yen was cast as Caine

Donnie Yen is a screen legend who is best-known for his work in the Ip Man movies, as well as Blade 2, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in which he also plays a blind warrior.

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Producer Basil Iwanyk says it was a no-brainer to cast Yen in the role. “We’ve always sought an antagonist who is Wick’s equal – or better,” Iwanyk revealed.

“We wanted to cast, as Caine, an actor whom audiences would believe that John could not defeat. There aren’t many who can go toe-to-toe with Keanu, while giving a richly detailed performance. Donnie is one of them.”

While Keanu loved working with his new co-star, stating: “Donnie does everything with such ferocity and attention to detail… he’s a special person and artist and working with him was an honor.”

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For more John Wick: Chapter 4 coverage, check out the below articles…

Review | Is John Wick true? | Killa explained | Ranking the movies | Is there a post-credits scene? | Marquis explained | Ballerina cameo | How long is Chapter 4? | Caine explained | Potential Chapter 5 | What happens to Charon? | 13 Best John Wick kills | Post-credit scene explained | Does the dog die? | Keanu Reeves on emotional ending | Is Chapter 5 streaming? | Movies to watch if you like JW | Will there be a Chapter 5?

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