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John Wick Spin-Off Ballerina - What We Know So Far

Released to little fanfare in the fall of 2014, John Wick initially presented itself as a little more than a one-off action vehicle for beloved star Keanu Reeves. As such, it essentially faded from cinemas without making much of an impact. Still, those who saw John Wick in theaters, or discovered the film later via VOD continued to champion the slick, stylish actioner for its intricately executed set pieces and unabashedly over-the-top spirit. It wasn't long before John Wick earned some serious cult credibility in certain cinematic circles.

Perhaps even more surprisingly, fans of the film found the intricate world-building within the narrative to be particularly exciting. Lionsgate brass were clearly among them, as the genre-loving mini-studio encouraged the Wick creative team to keep building that world out via a pair of equally ambitious sequels. To say those sequels (John Wick: Chapter 2 and John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum) delivered the goods would be a dramatic understatement, with each adding new and fascinating layers to the intricately woven criminal underworld teased in the original.

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. To the joy of most John Wick 3 fans, it was recently announced that those gracefully lethal dancers will be taking center stage in a spin-off film of their own. While we still don't know much about the tentatively-titled Ballerina, we are finally starting to get a few details about the project.

Here's everything we know about the ballerina-centric John Wick spin-off flick so far.

What is the release date for Ballerina?

Before we get too far along, we should go ahead and tell you that, regretfully, the release date for Ballerina has not yet been revealed. We can, however, tell you that the project has been in development since 2017, so it's presumably further along in production than some of the other proposed John Wick spin-offs (see also The Continental). Most importantly, there is already a working screenplay for Ballerina (from John Wick 3 scribe Shay Hatten), and the film has netted a director in former Underworld helmer Len Wiseman.

While progress is clearly being made on getting Ballerina before cameras sooner rather than later, it appears for the moment that "later" is the more likely time frame. While the behind-the-camera talent is coming together, the on-screen talent is far from settled, and given the current state of the world (i.e. production delays across the entirety of the entertainment industry), it's hard to believe Ballerina will make it before cameras in 2020, though producers are reportedly eyeing a late 2020 start. Given the increasingly complicated nature of release date Jenga studios are currently playing in hopes of getting already "in the can" projects into cinemas, it also seems unlikely that Ballerina will dance into multiplexes until 2022 at the earliest.  

Who will be appearing in the cast of Ballerina?

The good news is that, even if we don't have an idea about when Ballerina will be arriving in theaters, we are starting to get a few about who might be doing the dance of death on the screen when it finally does. As reported by Heroic Hollywood, a casting notice for Ballerina has apparently started making rounds, and if the rumors coming with it are true, it seems the film's producers are eyeing none other than Chloë Grace Moretz for the lead role in the film. 

Should that casting come to pass, it'll be more than a little bit on point, as Moretz has already wowed the action-loving cinematic set via her memorable work as Hit Girl in the hyper-violent Kick Ass superhero flicks. She's also wowed as an actor in several roles since (including 2018's Suspiria, which also happens to be dance-based), so it's clear the John Wick team are looking for someone who can carry the character as well as the physicality. It should be noted, however, that as of this writing, Moretz's involvement in Ballerina is purely rumor.

While the cast of Ballerina remains a bit of a mystery, it has all but been confirmed that both Keanu Reeves and Anjelica Huston (who played the director of the deadly ballet academy in John Wick 3) will make some sort of appearance in the film. Hopefully, we'll get more than a cameo from both — particularly Huston's Director, as she remains one of the most intriguing supporting characters in the entirety of the Wick Cinematic Universe.

What is the plot of Ballerina?

Like most things Ballerina, there really isn't a ton of information out in the world about the film's plot just yet. But lieu of that apparently leaked casting call, there are a few juicy bits we can glean about what to expect. First and foremost, we know that the character who may or may not be played by Chloë Grace Moretz is named Rooney Brown, and is reported to be the protagonist of the film. Like John Wick himself, she's a highly skilled global assassin who follows a strict moral code (i.e. she only wants to kill those she deems worthy of death).

The character is also a graduate of the Director's killer ballet academy who's forced out of "retirement" when a gang of thugs murders her entire family. That fatal encounter apparently occurs in a tiny European town called Sunnyvale, which is run by the evil Mayor Muller, and is largely inhabited by the Mayor's army of trained henchmen. Call us crazy, but if that synopsis is accurate, we could be in for some serious carnage if the titular danseuse decides to use her deadly skills on a Crazy 88-styled small town army. We'd be very surprised if the nefarious Mayor didn't turn out to have some specific ties to the Academy as well. The only question is whether or not we'll see Mr. Wick dancing alongside the ballerina in the film or not. 

Is there a trailer for Ballerina yet?

As more and more details begin to pour in regarding all things Ballerina, it's only a matter of time before we get an honest look at the action via a teaser or a full-on trailer. Unfortunately, as the film is still very, very early in pre-production and not a single frame of footage has been shot, no such teaser yet exits. Hopefully that'll change relatively soon as this anxiously-awaited John Wick spin-off film ramps up production and enough pieces fall into place to make a teaser happen. Rest assured, we'll have updates galore the second any footage from Ballerina dances into the world.

Until that fateful day arrives, we'd simply urge all of you to revisit that dance academy scene in John Wick 3, if only to marvel at the menacing majesty of the moment — and to keep yourself hyped for the promised insanity of Ballerina