Ballerina (TBC) John Wick Universe


Distinguished Member
Lionsgate has won a bidding war to pick up a female-centric spec action script titled Ballerina that will serve as a platform for a possible John Wick spin-off.

Ballerina has been described as being in the vein of La Femme Nikita, the 1990s female-centric assassin movie that helped launch the career of filmmaker Luc Besson, but with a more pulpy, hyper-stylized bent a la Quentin Tarantino or Matthew Vaughn.

Details are being kept under the tutu but the story is known to center on a young woman raised as an assassin who must hunt down the other assassins that murdered her family.

The script hit the studios last week with Warner Bros and Universal also vying for it, according to sources. Lionsgate saw in it potential to further grow its Wick franchise (a third movie is now in the works).

Basil Iwanyk, whose Thunder Road banner is behind the hit Wick action franchise that stars Keanu Reeves, will produce Ballerina.

While Lionsgate is relishing the idea of a franchise expansion, the screenwriter behind Ballerina is living out a Hollywood dream.

The deal marks the first sale for scribe Shay Hatten, the 23-year old who idolizes Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) and who is currently working as a writer's assistant for Robert Downey Jr.’s production company, Team Downey. Hatten has been on an upward Hollywood trajectory since graduating from Loyola Marymount’s School of Film and Television in 2016: he snagged an internship at Team Downey while writing a black comedy script, Maximum King!, in his spare time. The script led to representation at CAA and the script ended up on last year’s Black List.

Hatten was then upped by Downey to writer's assistant, providing script notes and coverage on the company's many projects while tackling what would become Ballerina on nights and weekends.

Hatten’s Maximum King! is a black comedy that takes a fictional look at how in 1985 Stephen King wrote and directed his horror movie Maximum Overdrive. He is repped by CAA and Lee Stobby Entertainment.

Iwanyk is a producer on The Current War, the upcoming movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon that will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. He also has Wind River on his resume, the Jeremy Renner thriller that serves as the directorial debut of Hell or High Water writer Taylor Sheridan.

Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
John Wick went from fantastic to terrible in the space of 2 films. This will have to work extremely hard to be a good film as the premise already sounds meh.


Distinguished Member
Len Wiseman to helm, with a script from Shay Hatten, who penned the third John Wick movie.
The heroine of Ballerina will be motivated to seek revenge for the deaths of her family. A character referred to in the credits of John Wick 3: Parabellum as Ballerina was played by real-life ballerina Unity Phelan. When Wick seeks refuge with Anjelica Huston’s The Director, a ballerina dances in the background. What seems like an odd aesthetic choice makes more sense when we see that she shares the same style of tattoos that Wick does, and learn that her dance all is where the assassin was once trained.

It is unclear if this specific ballerina played by Phelan will actually be the lead in the upcoming movie; after all, there were multiple ballerinas at the school. Keanu Reeves is not confirmed to appear, but a cameo is reportedly a possibility.

barnaby jones

Distinguished Member
Surprised Anna’s misfortune earlier this year didn’t put them off. I quite liked though, I always like these kind of films.


Distinguished Member
if it improves upon Atomic Blonde, it could be special

Rambo John J

Distinguished Member
if it improves upon Atomic Blonde, it could be special
come on, it's Len Wiseman :laugh:. The guy's made a few too many watchable stinkers to raise his game that much.
I'll take a guess and say he got this because he made Underworld, a female-centric action flick... a very long time ago. Aside from that, I can't see how he could have been their first choice. Underworld was enjoyable enough, if a bit Matrix-lite with vampires, but everything he's done following it's been pretty mundane. For me, anyway.
Last edited:


Well-known Member
I've liked all the Wick films and all the recent-ish female assassin films too, so bring it on, I say.


Distinguished Member
Saw this earlier:

I got a bit bored reading it if I'm honest, but it seems like their issue is about all the people involved in making it are men.
There's a solution for women, and that's for them to create, write, finance, produce and direct their own ******g films. There is nothing stopping them. So sick of this petulant demand that men have to pander to feminist whims and wants.


Distinguished Member
Who would you cast as the 'Ballerina'.....


Similar threads

Top Bottom