Lionsgate has purchased a spec script from Shay Hatten about a female assassin called ‘Ballerina’. Not much is known about Hatten other than he seems to have all the makings of a Hollywood Wunderkind. He’s only 23 but already has a job as a writing assistant for Robert Downey Jr.’s company and has had a screenplay featured on last year’s ‘Blacklist’. The Hollywood Reporter says the film “has been described as being in the vein of La Femme Nikita, the 1990 female-centric assassin movie that helped launch the career of filmmaker Luc Besson, but with a more pulpy, hyper-stylized bent a la Quentin Tarantino or Matthew Vaughn.”
Basil Iwanyk, who has served as a producer for the first two ‘John Wick’ films will be handling producing duties on ‘Ballerina’ as well. The hope for this project appears to be retrofitting it to be a spin-off in the Wick franchise (Jane Wick? Maybe? No?)
A third ‘John Wick’ film has already been announced along with a possible TV show, so it appears we’re well on our way to a Wick Cinematic Universe.
On one hand I love ‘John Wick’ and ‘Chapter 2’ is one of my favorite films this year, but I can’t help but wonder why everything must be part of a universe? I would much prefer ‘Ballerina’ become it’s own wonderful, successful franchise and not have assassin coins and The Continental shoehorned in. Then again, I probably would’ve written the same thing about Furiosa in ‘Mad Max’; so I can easily be proven wrong.
One other random thought I had reading the description of ‘Ballerina’ is that I really hope ‘Atomic Blonde’ is a huge, lasting hit so we can stop using ‘Le Femme Nikita’ as our only reference a female spy. Nothing against the film or Luc Besson, I just think pop-culture is finally ready for two female badasses.