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Ballerina is an upcoming American action thriller film directed by Len Wiseman from a screenplay by Shay Hatten and Emerald Fennell, based on a story by Hatten. It is the first spin-off of the John Wick franchise, and is set between the events of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) and John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023). It stars Ana de Armas, Anjelica Huston, Gabriel Byrne, Lance Reddick, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Norman Reedus, Ian McShane, and Keanu Reeves. In the film, ballerina-assassin Rooney (Armas) hunts those who killed her family.

Lionsgate acquired Hatten’s spec script for the film in 2017, leading to him contributing to the final screenplay for Parabellum and then serving as the lead writer for Chapter 4. In October 2019, Wiseman was hired as director, with franchise director Chad Stahelski confirmed as a producer by May 2020. Ballerina was officially announced in April 2022, with de Armas confirmed to be replacing Unity Phelan, who portrayed the character in Parabellum, in the lead role; by that November, the rest of the main cast was rounded out. Principal photography began soon after, taking place in Prague.

The film is scheduled to be released on June 7, 2024.

Premise
Taking place between the events of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and Chapter 4,[1] ballerina-assassin Rooney hunts the murderers of her family.

Cast
Ana de Armas as Rooney: A ballerina who seeks revenge by hunting the murderers of her family. The character was previously portrayed by Unity Phelan in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019).[2]
Anjelica Huston as “The Director”[3]
Gabriel Byrne[4]
Lance Reddick as Charon, the concierge at the Continental Hotel in New York and friend of Winston Scott and acquaintance of John Wick.[5] This was Reddick’s final appearance as Charon and one of his last screen appearances.[6]
Catalina Sandino Moreno[7]
Norman Reedus[8]
Ian McShane as Winston Scott: The enigmatic owner of the Continental Hotel and friend of John Wick.[9]
Keanu Reeves as Jardani Jovonovich / Jonathan “John” Wick: A professional hitman known as one of the most dangerous assassins, and fearfully referred to in the hitman underworld as “Baba Yaga”.[10]
Production
Development
In July 2017, Lionsgate Films acquired Shay Hatten’s action thriller Ballerina, with Thunder Road Films producing the film with Hatten rewriting the script to be a part of the John Wick franchise, with the title character, Rooney, ultimately being written into the third main film, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum in a cameo role ahead of the production of Ballerina, portrayed by Unity Phelan.[11] By October 2019, Len Wiseman was hired to direct the film.[12] In May 2020, Stahelski stated that Wiseman had read the script earlier, and approached the studio with a pitch of how he would develop the project, based on Hatten’s draft, for which the proof of concept had previously been uploaded to YouTube in September 2017.[13] Stahelski met with Wiseman, and approached executives to hire the filmmaker. He confirmed that he and his team will work closely with Wiseman on the action sequences and stunts for the film, while acknowledging that Wiseman’s filmmaking style will add variety to the franchise. At that point, Wiseman and Hatten were working on a newer draft of the script.[14] By April 2022, the film was officially announced by Lionsgate, with Ana de Armas tapped to star in the lead role.[2]

In July 2022, de Armas revealed that she had personally selected Emerald Fennell to contribute to the script as one of its writers.[15]

Casting

In May 2020, it was reported that the studio was looking for an actress to star in the film, with Chloë Grace Moretz as the template for the kind of talent they were looking for.[16] By October 2021, Ana de Armas entered negotiations to play the titular character, a ballerina-assassin named Rooney, replacing Unity Phelan, who previously portrayed the character in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019).[17] By April 2022 at CinemaCon, Lionsgate officially announced that de Armas would star in the lead role.[2] In November 2022, it was announced that Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, and Anjelica Huston had joined the cast and will reprise their roles from previous films of the franchise; as John Wick, Winston Scott, Charon, and “the Director”, respectively;[9][10][3][5] it also marks the third collaboration between de Armas and Reeves, having previously worked together in Knock Knock (2015) and Exposed (2016). In December 2022, Gabriel Byrne, Norman Reedus, and Catalina Sandino Moreno joined the supporting cast in undisclosed roles.[7][8][4]

Filming
Initially scheduled to commence in summer 2022,[2] principal photography officially began on November 7, 2022, in Prague.[18][9][19] Ballerina was in post-production in February 2023.[20]

Music
The music score was composed by Marco Beltrami and Anna Drubich, which they joined it in April 17, 2023.[21]

Release
Ballerina is scheduled to be released in the United States on June 7, 2024.[22]

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