Rumours of a John Wick cinematic universe first hit back in 2017, not long after the second John Wick film was released. After a massive third entry in the series, a fourth film due in 2021, plus comics and an in-the-works TV series, it makes sense that Hollywood would push ahead on cinematic spin-off Ballerina, too.
The big news, per Deadline, is that Len Wiseman (Underworld) has signed on to direct the spinoff which is sadly not about Halle Berry’s character from the last film. Ballerina is also not a new property, though. In 2017, the Hollywood Reporter described the Ballerina script – written on spec by then-23-year-old Shay Hatten, whose day job was working as an assistant at Robert Downey Jr.’s production company – as “in the vein of La Femme Nikita, the 1990 female-centric assassin movie that helped launch the career of filmmaker Luc Besson, but with a more pulpy, hyper-stylised bent a la Quentin Tarantino or Matthew Vaughn.”
Hatten has since worked on the scripts for Zack Snyder’s upcoming Netflix film Army of the Dead, as well as John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. With John Wick now a major franchise, the time seems right for Ballerina, which Deadline’s current update says is about “a young female assassin who seeks revenge against the people who killed her family,” presumably with enough John Wick-style flash (and maybe even some Underworld-style acrobatics) so that nobody will confuse her with other deadly dancers – like, say, Black Widow or Jennifer Lawrence’s character in Red Sparrow.
So far there’s no news on who might play this kick-ass lass – Deadline notes that though the character did appear in Parabellum, nobody’s been cast yet for the spin-off – or if Keanu Reeves will make a cameo, though given the huge popularity of the John Wick character, and Reeves’ enthusiasm for the series, it seems a safe enough bet. We’ll update any news on Ballerina should we hear more.