'John Wick: Chapter 4' has been delayed until 2022.

The latest instalment in the blockbuster hitman franchise - which stars Keanu Reeves in the titular role - was due to be released next May, but Lionsgate has announced a new date of May 27, 2022, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the movie industry subsequently being shut down.

One positive is that the film no longer clashes with 'The Matrix 4', which Keanu needs to complete on before returning to shoot the fourth 'John Wick'.

The news comes after the movie's director, Chad Stahelski, admitted he was in the dark about the movie's schedule being affected by the pandemic last month.

The 51-year-old filmmaker had his doubts though.

He said: ''Between how much we want to expand the 'John Wick' - let's just call it a 'franchise', I guess - and the pandemic, I couldn't tell you a release date for the next one.''

Chad admitted that the issue is complicated because of Keanu's commitment to the new 'Matrix' film, which saw production halted due to Covid-19.

He explained: ''I mean, 'Matrix' was only four weeks in when this all happened. So, Keanu's gotta go finish his commitment up on The Matrix, which is a big deal and which I think will probably take him until the end of the year.

''Then we have to go into our prep mode and then we'll start. So release dates, I'm sure with every production from Dave's stuff to our stuff, who knows right now.''

Meanwhile, Chad also revealed that he would be doing some stunt work alongside David Leitch on 'The Matrix 4'.

He has worked as a stunt double for Keanu's Neo in the original films and was involved in a sequence for Lana Wachowski's motion picture.

And the director admitted it was ''really cool'' to reunite with members of the original crew.

He said: ''They asked us to help out with the choreography some of the physical training for the guys. I'm helping out a little bit for a sequence, I think Dave's helping out for a sequence. ''Lana's come back with a lot of love to have a pseudo-family reunion, so that's been a lot of fun. It's been good to see a lot of the crew members again. We just finished doing a sequence in San Francisco before the pandemic started.''