Lionsgate Eyes John Wick Universe Expansion With Ballerina Film

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Lionsgate is looking to build off of the popularity of their John Wick franchise. The studio just won a bidding war for a female-centric spec action script titled Ballerina, which will serve as a platform for a spinoff film.

While details are scarce regarding Ballerina, The Hollywood Reporter describes the film as "being in the vein of La Femme Nikita...but with a more pulpy, hyper-stylized bent a la Quentin Tarantino or Matthew Vaughn." The story reportedly revolves around a young woman who is trained to be an assassin and then tracks down the assassins that murdered her family.

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The script was written by newcomer Shay Hatten, a 23-year-old writer that currently works as a writer's assistant for Robert Downey Jr.’s production company Team Downey.

Lionsgate beat out the likes of Warner Bros. and Universal, who had also put in bids on the project, which only hit studios last week. Lionsgate sees the script as a way to build off of their successful John Wick franchise.

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The film will be produced by Basil Iwanyk, whose Thunder Road banner is behind the John Wick franchise. At the time of writing, no release date has been announced for the project, which appears to still be in the early stages.

The first John Wick film, which opened in 2014, managed to secure $88 million worldwide on a $20 million budget. While it's sequel, John Wick: Chapter Two, pulled in over $169 million at the worldwide box office. The franchise may also see a prequel television series, although nothing concrete has become of that idea just yet.

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