The “John Wick” franchise is Lionsgate’s gift that keeps on giving. Len Wiseman, from the “Underworld” franchise, is expected to direct a new spinoff called “Ballerina,” which will focus a young woman who seeks revenge on the people responsible for killing her family.
Deadline was one of the first outlets to report Wiseman’s involvement in the project, and the outlet also pointed out that actor Unity Phelan is credited as “ballerina” in “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.” The studio hasn’t announced any casting details at this time, and we will have to wait to see if that small easter egg pays off in the end. Lionsgate is also working on “John Wick 4,” so it will be interesting to see if the spinoff comes out first, and plays into the fourth movie, or if the fourth installment sets up the spinoff.
The “John Wick” franchise has been an incredible hit for the studio, and started with the original release back in 2014. David Leitch and Chad Stahelski directed “John Wick,” and the movie had a small $14.4M opening. News got around that the movie was filled with stellar action sequences and the film made over $88M worldwide. Chad Stahelski returned to direct “John Wick: Chapter 2” in 2017 and that movie had a $30M domestic opening and made over $171.5M for the studio. The third installment crushed the previous two releases, and made $56.8M on its opening weekend before grossing over $323.3M worldwide. Lionsgate quickly announced the fourth installment after the third movie broke the franchise opening record. “John Wick” fans can expect the fourth chapter to release on May 21, 2021.
As for the “Ballerina” spinoff, those films have a tendency to crush the box office, or crash at the box office. Luc Besson is probably the most notable director to focus on the femme fatal genre, and even his films have wavered at the box office. While films like “La Femme Nikita,” “The Professional,” “The Fifth Element,” and “Lucy” have found footholds in theaters, his latest film “Anna,” with Helen Mirren, Luke Evans, and Cillian Murphy, was dead on arrival. The ballerina angle worked for “Red Sparrow,” which was directed by Francis Lawrence back in 2018. That film starred Jennifer Lawrence as a ballerina turned assassin and the movie made over $151.5M for FOX.
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