Lionsgate is looking into establishing a John Wick universe by retooling their recently acquired action script, Ballerina. Keanu Reeves returned to the action genre in 2014 by starring in the film John Wick, based on a script by Derek Kolstad, in which he played an assassin who comes out of retirement to exact revenge on the people who stole his car and killed his dog. The movie became an astounding success, achieving critical acclaim and grossing more than four times its production budget, so it wasn’t surprising when the studio commissioned a sequel, John Wick: Chapter 2.
Chapter 2 released earlier this year to overwhelming acclaim from critics (read our review) and audiences alike, and the film managed to more than double the box office gross of the first movie, pulling in over $169 million worldwide. The story expanded upon the universe that the filmmakers created with the first movie, and had even taken the story international, introducing the upper echelon of the assassin order that John Wick operates under. The upcoming third installment looks to conclude the character’s story arc, though that doesn’t mean the studio is done with the franchise just yet.
Related: The World of John Wick Explained
THR reports that Lionsgate has acquired an action-focused spec script titled Ballerina, a female-centric assassin story in the vein of Luc Besson’s 1990 film La Femme Nikita. According to the report, the studio plans on retooling the script by working it into the John Wick universe; therefore, potentially turning Ballerina into the first John Wick spinoff movie.
Interestingly, Atomic Blonde director David Leitch, who co-directed John Wick alongside his production partner Chad Stahelski, recently told Screen Rant that he’s interested in potentially crossing over his latest film with John Wick, and possibly having Charlize Theron’s character, MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton, either fight alongside Reeves’ character or go toe-to-toe with him. Figuring out how to work the two characters and their stories into the same film, though, is the tough part. Still, the Ballerina movie would help them expand the world on the big screen, and therefore possibly allow for Atomic Blonde to one day crossover with John Wick by setting a precedent.
Of course, Lionsgate has already been working on expanding the John Wick universe beyond the big screen, by developing a prequel TV series titled The Continental. People who’ve seen either movie (or both) know that the Continental is a hotel located in New York City that operates as the de facto headquarters for local assassins. Furthermore, it doubles as a safe haven, even from those looking to assassinate the assassins. In Chapter 2, Reeves’ eponymous character broke the cardinal rule and murdered someone on Continental grounds, and was thereby excommunicated from the order – the focus of John Wick: Chapter 3. In regards to Ballerina, we’ll just have to wait and see how Lionsgate chooses to pursue John Wick spinoff movies.
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