The promotion for John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum has thus far teased a whole host of new characters coming to the acclaimed action franchise, many of whom are actively hunting for the titular hitman for the $14 million contract on his head. While there are plenty of surprising additions, including Jason Mantzoukas as the unhinged rival assassin Tick Tock Man, the introduction of Mark Dacascos as Zero, a contract killer who fights Wick to a standstill in the second trailer, is casting that probably has more than a few Food Network fans scratching their head over.
Dacascos is perhaps best known to most audiences as The Chairman of the cable network's popular Iron Chef America series, hosting the competitive cooking show with unwavering stoicism as he introduces contestants to their respective challenges. What may not be known to many foodies is that Dacascos is actually an accomplished martial artist and actor in his own right, with an action career spanning decades on both film and television series that often simmer just under the mainstream entertainment radar.
The son of Wun Hop Kuen Do founder and instructor Al Dacascos, Mark Dacascos is of mixed Asian and Caucasian ancestry, born in Hawaii. In addition to the hybridized Japanese martial arts form, Dacascos has studied the Brazilian fighting style of Capoeira, the Thai boxing form of Muay Thai and the Chinese martial art of Wushu. Throughout his childhood, Dacascos would compete and win at various martial arts competitions around the country before making the transition to a career in film and television, including a small role in the 1990s live-action Flash series starring John Wesley Shipp.
Dacascos would get his first major role starring as Jimmy Lee in the 1994 video game adaptation of the popular NES beat'em-up Double Dragon. While the film was a commercial and critical failure, Dacascos would go on to star as Eric Draven in the television series The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, adapting the cult film and graphic novel. On the big screen, Dacascos starred in the critically acclaimed French historical-martial arts film Brotherhood of the Wolf in 2001, and faced Jet Li in 2004's Cradle 2 the Grave. During and following his tenure hosting Iron Chef America, Dacascos continued to appear in small roles in television and film, including recurring parts on Hawaii Five-O and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
After Keanu Reeves's role in popularizing martial arts for modern cinema audiences in the Matrix trilogy, the promise of a fight between Reeves and Dacascos is actually something of a match in kung fu heaven. And judging by the second trailer, Dacascos will not be going down easy against the eponymous assassin. Allez cuisine!
Directed by Chad Stahelski, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum opens on May 17 in theaters everywhere. It stars Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Halle Berry, Jason Mantzoukas, Lance Reddick and Anjelica Huston.