The Female-Led John Wick Spinoff has Found a Director
While John Wick 4 is coming to theaters in May of 2021, Lionsgate is teasing out a female-led spinoff that will further expand the world of the titular super-assassin. Deadline reports that director Len Wiseman has been tapped to lead the upcoming film, titled Ballerina, which will focus on a young female assassin seeking revenge against the monsters who murdered her family. There’s already a script, by Shay Hatten (he wrote John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum), and your longstanding John Wick director Chad Stahelski and John Wick himself, Keanu Reeves, are on board as producers.
The character of Ballerina had a very brief cameo in Parabellum, played by Unity Phelan, yet there’s no word yet on whether she’ll reprise the role in the upcoming feature. Lionsgate has good reason to want to keep their John Wick franchise expanding—each film has been a hit, and Parabellum not only continued that trend in theaters, but it was also the highest-grossing home release Lionsgate has had in more than 5 years.
Wiseman knows a thing or two about female-led action franchises; he directed Kate Beckinsale in the vampire/werewolf battle royale Underworld franchise. His action chops were also honed in Live Free or Die Hard, a kinetic installment in the Bruce Willis Die Hard franchise.
Ballerina will have a high bar to clear to maintain John Wick‘s sensational level of stunt work and action set pieces. The John Wick directors have all been masters of the action section; Chad Stahelski started out as a kick-boxer and served as Keanu Reeve‘s stunt double in The Matrix, and David Leitch (who co-directed the first film in the franchise with Sathelski) was a stuntman and stunt coordinator before he became a big-time director on action-heavy flicks like Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde.
Featured image: John (Keanu Reeves) and Sofia (Halle Berry) in JOHN WICK 3: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM. Photo by Mark Rogers. Courtesy Lionsgate