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Female-centric John Wick spinoff to be directed by Len Wiseman because apparently everyone else was busy

Image: Lionsgate

Hopefully you’re seated in a reasonably comfortable chair or sitting utensil because what’s about to happen here is a classic good news/bad news situation. It doesn’t matter which component you’d prefer to hear first. This is not a democracy. And that’s not how computers work. The good news is something we already reported on back in 2017: Lionsgate is looking to expand the John Wick universe with spinoffs and such, including an upcoming TV show exploring the coolest location in the movies—The Continental, aka the hotel for assassins—and a female-centric movie. That female-centric movie is called Ballerina, and it will center on the mysterious ballerina featured in a pivotal scene in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. Now here’s the bad news, courtesy of the folks at Deadline (take up your salty feelings with them): Len Wiseman, whose work on the Underworld film series arguably established him as the inverse of “visionary director” (a label Paul W.S. Anderson knows all too well), will direct this John Wick spinoff, which is, again, about a lady. Apparently literally everyone else was too busy to handle it, including Paul W.S. Anderson and also—I dunno—any female director.

The plot will follow this ballerina lady-person as she seeks revenge against the bad people who murdered her family, so she’s basically John Wick, but ballet is her gun-kata and her family is the puppy and also a nice car. It’s an interesting and attractive concept, albeit a woefully familiar one that’s been explored in Red Sparrow (which was also directed by a dude and was not good) and Avengers: Age Of Ultron, in which we learn the origins of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow—who trained as a ballerina-assassin in an academy run by Julie Delpy in what is arguably the only good scene in a movie I recall as “the Avengers sequel that cast career sexual deviant James Spader as a robot but refused to let him robo-fuck anything.”

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Shay Hatten, whose writing credits include John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and Zack Snyder’s upcoming Army Of The Dead, has written the script for Ballerina. The film will be produced by John Wick series director Chad Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves, the latter of which is kind of disappointing given that Reeves has worked with more female directors than the majority of his male peers. And also, it’s Len Wiseman of all people. This ballerina-assassin-lady-person deserves better.

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