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Ballerina Overdrive - What We Know So Far

If you're up on your entertainment news, you can often tell which movies are going to be the most talked-about well before they actually premiere. That's because films are usually bought and sold years before they premiere. When they are, the truly unique films tend to generate buzz at film festivals or annual trade shows like the European Film Market. Last year's buzziest film sold at EDM was the Tom Hanks vehicle "A Man Called Otto," an adaptation of a bestselling 2015 Swedish novel "A Man Called Ove." Sony ponied up a cool $60 million for it (via Variety).

The 2023 European Film Market is being held in Berlin this month. One of the most talked-about films is "Ballerina Overdrive," and for good reason. It's going to be a stylized action flick in the vein of a "John Wick" or a "Jack Reacher," but it boasts an all-female cast and an aesthetic not often seen in mainstream action films. Here's everything we know so far about your next favorite action movie.

What is the release date for Ballerina Overdrive?

At the time of this writing, "Ballerina Overdrive" doesn't yet have a release date, but we can make an educated guess based on other projects released by the film's production company, 87North, which specializes in tentpole films that heavily feature action.

One of 87North's other big projects currently in production is "Fall Guy," a movie adaptation of the 1980s TV series about a movie stuntman who doubles as a bounty hunter. It stars Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt. According to Movie Insider, "Fall Guy" began production in November 2022 in Australia, and it's set to premiere on March 1, 2024. That's a turnaround time of about 16 months.

According to Deadline, "Ballerina Overdrive" begins filming in Serbia in the second quarter of 2023. So, given the timeline for "Fall Guy," expect to see "Ballerina Overdrive" some time in the fall or winter of 2024.

What is the plot of Ballerina Overdrive?

The logline for "Ballerina Overdrive" is a classic action-thriller setup. The story follows a group of ballerinas and their coach(es) who are on their way to a competition when their bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere. They find refuge in a "remote inn," but things soon turn deadly, forcing them to brave the elements in order to escape.

Bloody Disgusting also notes that the film will feature "dance-based action choreography." Given that one of the producers worked on films like "John Wick" and "Deadpool" (more on this below), we can expect a lot of stylized violence. So, it sounds like "Yellowjackets" meets "Black Swan," with lots and lots of fighting. 

What we don't know at this point is what the ballerinas will be up against. Will their nemesis be human or supernatural? It's possible more might be revealed as we get closer to the premiere date, but it's also possible that the filmmakers will keep things a mystery until the film is released. 

Who is in the cast of Ballerina Overdrive?

Per Deadline, most of the main cast has been announced, although their roles haven't yet been specified. Headlining "Ballerina Overdrive" is Lena Headey, aka Cersei Lannister from "Game of Thrones." Since "Game of Thrones" ended in 2019, she's fronted several other action films like "Twist," "Gunpowder Milkshake," and "9 Bullets" (via IMDb). The smart money is on Headey playing the ballerina troupe's teacher/chaperone.

Rounding out the cast are: Yara Shahidi, who played Zoey Johnson in the "Black-ish" universe of shows; Isabela Merced, who played a teenaged Dora the Explore in the 2019 live-action vehicle "Dora and the Lost City of Gold"; Lana Condor, star of the "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" series; Millicent Simmonds, who played one of Emily Blunt's and John Krasinki's children in the "A Quiet Place" series; and Iris Apatow, the second daughter of uber-producer Judd Apatow and actress Leslie Mann, and who previously starred in the Netflix series "Love" and the Netflix film "The Bubble."

Who is writing, directing, producing, and choreographing Ballerina Overdrive?

According to Deadline, "Ballerina Overdrive" is based on a script by Kate Freund. She's an actress with over 70 credits on her resume, and she's previously written on series "Afterlife" for Crypt TV. This will be her first feature film writing credit (via IMDb).

Vicky Jewson is attached to direct. She's a logical choice, as she's directed plenty of action-heavy fare before, like the prequel series "The Witcher: Blood Origin," the 2019 Noomi Rapace bodyguard vehicle "Close," and the 2014 terrorism thriller "Born of War" (from IMDb).

Headlining the producer ranks is David Leitch. A former stuntman, he's best known for directing stylized action movies like "John Wick," "Deadpoool 2," and "Bullet Train." He'll be producing via his 87North banner, along with Kellie McCormick and Annie Marter.

The action and fight sequences will be choreographed by sibling stuntwoman duo Heidi and Renae Moneymaker. Heidi is best known for being Scarlett Johansson's stunt double in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Renae, meanwhile, has done stunts for everyone from Jennifer Lawrence to Brie Larson to Margot Robbie (per ESPN). They've previously designed stunts for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" and "Project Artemis."