Lionsgate Planning ‘John Wick’ Connected Universe With ‘Ballerina’ Script Buy
[Oprah voice] You get a cinematic universe! You get a cinematic universe! You get a cinematic universe! You get a cinematic universe! EVERYBODY HERE GETS A CINEMATIC UNIVERSE!
That’s pretty much how I assume studio-level dealmaking in Hollywood works these days. The second any major movie house gets a whiff of success, they begin plotting an elaborate network of films that they can release with the unstated implication that “Hey, this will be like that thing you liked a couple years ago!” And now Lionsgate has figured out how to parlay the repeated success of operatic beatdown John Wick and its sequel into what they hope will be a bigger, bloodier diegesis.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that Lionsgate has won a bidding war for a new action script titled Ballerina in the hopes that it can be woven into the mythology of Keanu Reeves’ indestructible hit man. While THR doesn’t have a lot of plot details to offer up, they relate a description of the film as “being in the vein of La Femme Nikita, the 1990 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.” If that sounds like something a 23-year-old would come up with, then your instincts are dead-on; this script comes from an industry newbie one short year out of college, currently working for Robert Downey Jr.’s production company. So that’s neat, in case you like feeling as if you‘ve wasted your life.
To indulge in a little speculation — it’d be all too simple to weave this en-pointe assassin into the guild of killers in which our man J-Dubs is registered. And that opens up a brave new world of possibilities, too. There are a lot of killers in their union, and that means a lot of stories, and that means a lot of shattered teeth. Brace yourself.