After the success of both 2014’s John Wick and this year’s sequel, John Wick: Chapter 2, film executives at Lionsgate are eager to expand the film’s intriguing setting. Beyond another sequel film and an upcoming TV spin-off, the studio has now picked up a spec script titled Ballerina with the intention of creating a new film spin-off.
The existing script does not connect to the John Wick films and sparked an intense bidding war between competing studios.
Lionsgate saw the potential, however, to make it a John Wick spin-off with only minor changes, and invested heavily in winning the rights.
Ballerina is described as similar to the 1990 film, La Femme Nikita, about a female assassin — except with a more stylized feel.
The hot script was written by newcomer Shay Hatten, a 23-year old writer’s assistant for Robert Downey Jr.’s production company, Team Downey.
His first script, Maximum King!, a fictional story about author Stephen King’s experience writing and directing the 1985 film Maximum Overdrive, landed on the so-called “Black List” of the best unsold scripts in 2016.
Hatten worked on Ballerina on nights and weekends while working on script notes and coverage for Team Downey during the day.
Lionsgate is currently working on a TV spin-off of John Wick called The Continental, focusing on the secretive hotel chain where the assassins in the films often meet.
No network is attached yet, but the studio is said to be very excited about the project and is optimistic that John Wick star Keanu Reeves will put in an appearance.
In the meantime, director Chad Stahelski says plans for John Wick: Chapter 3 are already in place, though the film has yet to be officially green-lit. The original film was actually intended to be the end of the story, though producers later found a creative way to bring the character back for a sequel. Now it looks like the world of John Wick will likely continue with or without him.