Avengers: Infinity War finished shooting this summer, but there’s no time for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to take a vacation and relax, as (the currently untitled) Avengers 4 swung into production almost immediately after. We’ve heard reports that the globetrotting superhero franchise is due to head to Japan (eagle-eyed observers have spotted sets in Atlanta that’ll stand in for the country), with Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner reported to be involved in some crucial scenes with the Yakuza.
That’s probably where we’ll meet The Wolverine actor Hiroyuki Sanada, who’s just been confirmed to be joining the sprawling ensemble cast of what’s perhaps the most important instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date. Of course, fans will be familiar with him from his performance as the villainous Shingen in the aforementioned X-Men film, where he met a gruesome end on Logan’s claws. Or, you may also know him from his appearance as Musashi on HBO’s Westworld.
It’s a little too early to speculate on precisely which Marvel Universe character Sanada is going to be showing up as, but it’d be shame if the movie didn’t take advantage of his top-notch martial arts skills. Perhaps a clue comes from a juicy nugget of information that recently found its way to us, though.
Word is that Renner’s Clint Barton is going to ditch the Hawkeye moniker and rechristen himself as the blade-wielding Ronin. Now, Hawkeye is pretty damn good with a bow, but maybe he needs someone to give him some sword-fighting lessons and maybe that someone is Sanada’s character.
Whatever his role, we’ve got a long wait (and many MCU films) until we see him in action in Avengers 4. Still, as shooting continues and the inevitable drip-drip of set leaks begins in earnest, perhaps we’ll be able to make a more educated guess as to what takes Black Widow and Hawkeye to Japan, and who Sanada will be playing.