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John Wick Spin-Off Ballerina Release Date, Cast, Director, Writer And More Details

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The "John Wick" franchise has become one of the most celebrated series in action cinema — rejuvenating Keanu Reeves' career and setting the mold for movies like "Atomic Blonde," "Nobody," and "Day Shift." That should come as no surprise since the "John Wick" series features some of the best action sequences of the past few decades, but there's a lot more to this assassin series than fighting.

With each new installment, the "John Wick' movies have added new and fascinating layers to the intricately woven criminal underworld teased in the original. And as the Wick Cinematic Universe has continued to expand, so too has the vivid cast of characters surrounding Reeves' titular tough guy. It's no surprise that fans have been clamoring to learn more about many of them — particularly the ballerina assassins barely glimpsed during a key sequence in the third film.

Well, it appears that we're about to discover quite a bit about these shadowy figures, as it was announced a lethal dancer would be taking center stage in a "John Wick" spin-off film. If you want to know more about the plot, cast, and people making this upcoming action flick, read on for everything we know about "Ballerina."

When will the John Wick spin-off Ballerina be released?

The world of "John Wick" is getting bigger and bigger. We saw everybody's favorite assassin kill a million bad guys his fourth film, which hit theaters on March 24, 2023. A prequel series revolving around the infamous Continental hotel is coming to Peacock, also in 2023. There's even talk of a new "John Wick" video game. So we can expect a lot of Wick-related content in near future, including the highly anticipated spin-off "Ballerina." 

But when can we watch this female-led assassin flick on the big screen? The movie began shooting on November 2022, filming in Prague. And now, we know when the movie will finally arrive in theaters. Expect to see "Ballerina" and its world of deadly killers on June 7, 2024. 

What is the plot of Ballerina?

So, what do we know about the plot of "Ballerina?" Well, according to recent reports from Deadline and Variety, the film will focus on the same motivating factor that drives John Wick: revenge. Evidently, the female protagonist will be seeking bloody vengeance against the people who killed her family.

Admittedly, that's not much info. But if we look at reports a little further back in time, we may be able to find a bit more about the plot. In September 2017, the website ScriptShadow reviewed Shay Hatten's original screenplay (which was written as a standalone feature before becoming part of the "John Wick" universe). In this version of the script, the lead character is Rooney Brown, an orphan who's trained as a government assassin and goes to work for a secretive government agency. She quickly finds herself up against the town of Sunnyvale, a community in the Swiss Alps populated by killers. And before these assassins can pick her off, she decides to pay a visit to their community and murder them all.

In 2020, after Hatten's script was incorporated into the "John Wick" world, Heroic Hollywood shared some similar plot details, with a few adjustments. According to the website, this version of Rooney Brown now works for the Director, the stern ballet instructor/crime boss played by Anjelica Huston in "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum." It also describes Rooney as someone who only kills people who she believes deserve to die. It also possibly elaborates a bit more on her war with Sunnyvale, saying, "The spin-off will focus on Rooney coming out of retirement to target an rival organization that slaughtered her family."

We also know the movie when the movie will take place in the larger "John Wick" world. Speaking with Collider, Keanu Reeves explained that "Ballerina" is set between the third and fourth "John Wick" movie. So does that mean de Armas' character will run across the most famous assassin on the planet? More on that in just a moment.

Who is starring in Ballerina?

The world of "John Wick" is populated with A-list stars and great character actors, from Willem Dafoe and Ruby Rose to Laurence Fishburne and Donnie Yen. And while we don't know a ton about the cast of "Ballerina," we do know some pretty impressive names will be showing up in the spin-off. Most notably, the lead character will be played by Ana de Armas, who's been quickly making a name for herself in the action world with performances in films like "No Time to Die" and "The Gray Man." Additionally, Oscar nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno ("Maria Full of Grace") is reportedly playing a very important character in the film (via Deadline), and both Norman Reedus of "The Walking Dead" and Gabriel Byrne of "The Usual Suspects" have joined the cast.

We also know that John Wick himself, Keanu Reeves, is set to make an appearance (via Collider). Speaking at Comic-Con Experience 2022, Reeves explained, "I'm in it for a few sequences. So that was nice. They're filming right now, and the script's great, the story's cool. Looking forward to it." On "The Tonight Show," de Armas implied that she and Reeves will actually have a fight scene together, saying, "The other day, Keanu and I were rehearsing our very difficult stunt scene, and this man is just rolling and throwing me and doing crazy stunts." Interestingly, this will be the second time Reeves and de Armas have shared the screen together, as the two both starred in 2015's "Knock Knock."

Reeves won't be the only "Wick" regular checking into "Ballerina." The owner of New York's Continental hotel himself, Ian McShane, will be reprising his role as Winston. We know that he'll be an important part in the film, with producer Basil Iwanyk saying (via Variety) the actor will have a "pivotal role" in the film. It was also reported in November 2022 that Anjelica Huston would be returning as the Director, the head of the Ruska Roma, the crime family home to the ballerina assassins (via Collider), and the late, great Lance Reddick will also appear as Charon, the stoic and deadly Continental concierge.

Who is directing Ballerina?

All four "John Wick" films to date have been helmed by Chad Stahelski, the stuntman turned director who brought a new level of action movie intensity to the "Wick" fight sequences. But while Stahelski is producing "Ballerina," he won't be the one directing. Interestingly, those duties have fallen to Len Wiseman, a filmmaker who has a really weird track record when it comes to action.

Previously, Wiseman directed both "Underworld" and "Underworld: Evolution," films that were absolutely eviscerated by critics but have pretty solid audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. He's also the guy who made "Live Free or Die Hard," the fourth entry of the "Die Hard" franchise and one that has pretty solid reviews across the board. On the flip side, he also helmed the 2012 "Total Recall" remake, which everybody seems to hate.

In other words, the filmography is kind of spotty. Plus, he has some pretty enormous Stahelski-sized shoes to fill. So we'll be interested in seeing if Wiseman can bring his A game to "Ballerina."

Who is writing Ballerina?

The screenwriter of "Ballerina" is quickly becoming one of the most exciting and sought-after scribes in Hollywood. Shay Hatten first gained fame in the industry with his Black List script "Maximum King," an over-the-top comedy about a cocaine-fueled Stephen King directing the '80s horror flick "Maximum Overdrive." While that script was never made into a movie, it got Hatten a whole lot of attention.

Then, in 2017, his script for a standalone assassin movie was brought into the "John Wick" universe, becoming "Ballerina" starring Ana de Armas. Hatten also worked on "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum" and "John Wick: Chapter 4," so he's definitely comfortable in this universe of tailored killers and underworld hotels. Additionally, he wrote "Army of Thieves" and co-wrote "Army of the Dead" with Zack Snyder and Joby Harold. In other words, with those awesome action flicks under his belt, we're pretty sure his script for "Ballerina" absolutely rocks.

And if that's not enough to get you excited, he was assisted on the script by Emerald Fennell (via Collider), who won an Oscar for writing "Promising Young Woman." She also penned several episodes of "Killing Eve," so she's quite skilled at creating thrillers about women seeking revenge and hunting for justice.

Where to watch the previous John Wick films

As "Ballerina" is set in the strange and sprawling world of "John Wick" — a universe where assassins hand out oath markers, hobos secretly work as spies for a crime boss, and a ballet school is training grounds for future killers — it might not be a bad idea to check out the previous installments in the franchise. That's especially true for the third film, as it seems the concepts introduced in "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum" will tie into the events of "Ballerina."

You can stream the original "John Wick" on Peacock or rent it for $3.99 on Apple iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, YouTube, and Vudu. You can stream "Chapter 2" on Peacock, and you can also rent it for $3.99 on Amazon Video, Apple iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, and Vudu. Then there's "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum," which can be streamed on Peacock, and it's available to rent on Apple iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, Vudu, and YouTube for $3.99.

Then there's "John Wick: Chapter 4," which hit theaters on March 24, 2023.