While the adventures of John Wick are set to continue on the big screen, there are plans in motion to explore other corners of the universe Keanu Reeves’ assassin character runs around in. For instance, back in July 2017, five months after John Wick: Chapter 2 was released, it was announced that a spinoff called Ballerina was in development. Nearly two and a half years later, that spinoff has finally taken a significant step forward by hiring a director.
Len Wiseman, whose credits include three Underworld movies and 2012’s Total Recall, has been tapped to direct Ballerina, according to Deadline. He’ll be working off a script written by Shay Hatten, who also co-wrote John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and Zack Snyder’s upcoming Netflix movie Army of the Dead. Basil Inwayk and Erica Lee will produce Ballerina, and John Wick mainstays Keanu Reeves and Chad Stahelski will also be involved in the producing process, though it’s unclear if Reeves will cameo in the spinoff as John Wick.
Ballerina will follow a young woman who was raised to be an assassin hunting down the people who killed her family. There’s no word yet on who will play this protagonist, but since Ballerina is apparently being fast-tracked, we might not have to wait that long to learn which actress will be cast in the role.
It seemed like John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum planted the seeds for Ballerina earlier this year. While he was declared “excommunicado” by the High Table, John sought the help of Anjelica Huston’s The Director, the head of the Ruska Roma and John’s adoptive mother. As part of training the youth in her care in the art of assassination, we saw her teach some of her the female students ballet. So it’s possible Ballerina’s main character comes from the Ruska Roma, or at the very least was put through similar training in a different corner of this colorful underworld.
It’s unsurprising Lionsgate is eager to deliver a John Wick spinoff to the masses. Not only have all the John Wick movies been met with positive reception, they’ve also performed increasingly well commercially. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum made over $323 million worldwide off a $75 million budget, and it’s become Lionsgate’s highest grossing entertainment title in over five years.
Ballerina isn’t the only way the John Wick franchise is expanding beyond the main film series. There is also a Continental TV series in the works over at Starz that will focus on the eponymous hotel chain, which caters exclusively to criminals, years before the events of the John Wick movies. There was also talk about potentially crossing John Wick over with Atomic Blonde (which was directed by David Leitch, who co-helmed the first John Wick movie), although it’s unclear if that’s still on the table since Atomic Blonde 2 looks like it’ll happen on a streaming service.
And then, of course, the John Wick saga will continue with John Wick: Chapter 4, which was announced shortly after Chapter 3’s release and dated for May 21, 2021. Both Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski have also said that they’re eager to keep making John Wick movies for as long as possible, so bottom line, whether it’s through the primary movies or spinoffs, this franchise isn’t ending anytime soon.
We’ll keep you apprised on more updates concerning Ballerina as they come in. For now, keep track of what’s left to arrive this year with our 2019 release schedule.