The John Wick spinoff Ballerina is reportedly adding a familiar face from the franchise. On Tuesday, Lionsgate announced that Ian McShane will be reprising his role as Winston, the manager of The Continental Hotel, in the upcoming live-action film. The project will be directed by Len Wiseman, and will star Ana de Armas as the titular character. Production on Ballerina reportedly began earlier this week. McShane has been in every installment thus far of the John Wick franchise, and will reportedly reprise his role in the upcoming John Wick: Chapter 4 as well.
"We're thrilled to have Ian McShane joining us for a pivotal role in Ballerina," producer Basil Iwanyk said in a statement. "He's been such an integral part of the franchise since the original John Wick. It's been fun to have him on this journey as the Wick universe expands."
What is Ballerina about?
Rumors have indicated that Ballerina will see the titular retired ballerina assassin pulled back in by the murder of her family. Fans have speculated that the film might tie into John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum's Ruska Roma, a Russian ballet school that is a front for training elite assassins.
The screenplay for Ballerina is written by Shay Hatten, and the film is produced by Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, and Chad Stahelski. Brady Fujikawa and Chelsea Kujawa are overseeing the project for Lionsgate.
"Having him [Ballerina director Len Wiseman] on board and approaching some of the action design from a slightly different perspective, meaning the set pieces, the character involvement, how and what he wants to do during the action sequences, makes it kind of fresh," Stahelski told THR in a previous interview. "So, we're not just copying ourselves over and over again with gun-fu or something like that. And because the character is different, we're going to get a different take on things. But as far as the level, the competence or the style of action? Yes. I plan to be there to assist whenever I can. And our 87eleven stunt team will be very actively involved in helping Len in all his action needs."
"[Wiseman] had a take that he wanted to pitch to Basil about how Ballerina fit into the John Wick world and how he could really spin it and put his taste on it," Stahelski added. "So, Basil and Thunder Road heard the pitch, and they wanted me to hear it. So, I went to dinner with Len, and he pitched me on his ideas and what he wanted to do with it. I already think he's a really good director, and I think he gets the tone. I think he understands action, and I think he's got a good visual style. And right off the bat, I was like, 'Oh, we've got to get this guy. He gets it.'"
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