EXCLUSIVE: Here’s one that’s sure to heat up the impending AFM. Knives Out and No Time To Die star Ana de Armas is in talks to take the lead role in anticipated John Wick spinoff Ballerina, about a young female assassin who seeks revenge against the people who killed her family.
The character made a fleeting appearance in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum as a ballerina who is also training to be an assassin.
As we previously revealed, Len Wiseman (Underworld) is aboard to direct the action-thriller, whose script comes from Shay Hatten, known for Zack Snyder’s Army Of The Dead and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.
The movie re-teams John Wick studio Lionsgate with producers Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee and Chad Stahelski (the John Wick franchise director will instead be a producer on Ballerina). We hear budget would be somewhere in the $50-80M range. It remains unclear whether Keanu Reeves will make a fleeting appearance in the movie, though there is a hope that he and Anjelica Huston may provide cameos.
De Armas’ star is high right now and there are multiple big-scale projects that could come together for her. The Golden Globe nominee is currently in post-production on Netflix and the Russo brothers’ $200M action pic The Gray Man, and the same studio’s long-awaited Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde.
Brady Fujikawa and Chelsea Kujawa are overseeing Ballerina for Lionsgate, whose international sales division is bringing a bumper crop of movies to the virtual American Film Market next week.
Among them are John Wick 4, which is still available in a handful of territories. The fourth installment in the lucrative Keanu Reeves franchise is due to be released next May.
Lionsgate is bringing multiple YA movies it is making with media firm Buzzfeed per the two company’s movie partnership announced last year. Ruby Rose comedy 1Up is in post, as is Dylan Sprouse film My Fake Boyfriend, while thriller Dear David has yet to shoot.
Two more comedies likely to be in-demand are Robert De Niro pic About My Father and the R-rated untitled Adele Lim (Crazy Rich Asians) movie starring Sabrina Wu, Ashley Park, Sherry Cola and Stephanie Hsu.
Also among the slate are recently announced Juliette Binoche, Frank Grillo and Morgan Freeman thriller Paradise Highway, Robbie Amell pic Float, and Kurt Warner biopic American Underdog.
Meanwhile, Lionsgate’s John Wick universe is currently expanding with TV series The Continental.
Ana de Armas is repped by CAA, and Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks.