Good news for “John Wick” fans! Indeed, the famous action film will have its first spin-off. Titled “Ballerina,” the project will star Hollywood’s new darling, Ana de Armas. Discover the rest of the cast.
Given the phenomenal success of the franchise, it was apparent that a “John Wick” spin-off would, sooner or later, see the light of day. Thus, “Ballerina,” set for release next year, will have the daunting task of dazzling fans of one of the most prominent assassins on the big screen. In any case, filming for this project, which promises to be violent, has already begun. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
“John Wick” the golden goose of the box office
In October 2014, action movie enthusiasts were happily caught off guard by the release of the first installment of “John Wick.” Directed by Chad Stahelski, the film stars one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors, Keanu Reeves.
Having become a global star thanks to the Wachowski sisters’ “Matrix” saga, in “John Wick,” Reeves plays a mercenary who comes out of retirement after mafia members steal his car and kill his dog. Enraged, John Wick, also known as Baba Yaga, embarks on a bloody vendetta against the antagonists.
With a production budget of only $20 million, the film still grossed $86 million at the box office. This success naturally led to several sequels featuring the hero.
On February 9, 2017, “John Wick: Chapter 2” was released, followed by “John Wick: Parabellum” two years later. While the former generated over $171 million in revenue, the latter shattered records, raking in over $320 million in profits at the global box office.
On its way to breaking records
The 4th chapter, a hit in theaters since its release on March 24, 2023, is on track to surpass the figures achieved by the previous franchise installments. Indeed, in less than two weeks of release, the film has already crossed the $250 million mark at the global box office.
As for the plot, in “John Wick: Chapter 4,” our hero aims to destroy a criminal organization known as “The High Table,” led by none other than The Marquis, played by Bill Skarsgård. And during his new journey, John will, unfortunately, confront old friends who have become enemies.
Without giving away any spoilers, the film’s end leaves us puzzled about the hero’s return in a fifth installment. In any case, while the question of a sequel to “John Wick: Chapter 4” is still under discussion, we already know that other projects related to the franchise’s universe are in the works. This is notably the case for “Ballerina,” starring the sultry and talented Ana de Armas.
“Ballerina” A badass heroine
So, “John Wick” is set to have its cinematic universe. Still produced by Lionsgate, “Ballerina,” the franchise’s first spin-off, will focus on the character Rooney, a dancer trained by Ruska Roma to kill. Like John Wick, she will take down those who killed her family.
Thus, revenge will also be the theme of this new project, implying the extraordinarily violent scenes that made “John Wick” famous. Chronologically, the film’s plot will occur between the 3rd and 4th chapters. It’s worth mentioning that the character of Rooney already appeared in “Parabellum.” To portray her, the choice fell on Ana de Armas.
The Cuban-born actress, recently nominated for an Oscar for her fabulous portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in “Blonde,” once again shows her love for action films. Indeed, in recent years, she has been involved in a string of such productions as “James Bond: No Time to Die,” “Blade Runner 2049,” “The Gray Man,” and more.
Casting and release
As for the rest of the cast, Keanu Reeves is expected to appear in “Ballerina” and will likely pass the torch. The same goes for Ian McShane, who plays Winston, and Charon, played by the late Lance Reddick. There’s no doubt the duo will be explosive!
In the Wickverse, new faces will also make their debut, as recently announced by Lionsgate. Among them are actor Gabriel Byrne, actress Catalina Sandino Moreno, and Norman Reedus, star of the series “The Walking Dead.”
As for the direction, Len Wiseman will guide the project, with a release in June 2024. It’s worth noting that he has already proven himself with “Underworld,” “Die Hard 4,” “Total Recall: Mémoires Programmées,” and more. With this cast, “Ballerina” promises to be epic. Let’s hope fans will show up to see the film in theaters.
In any case, the world of John Wick is expanding, as, besides Ballerina, a series titled “The Continental” is also in the works.