'John Wick' Spinoff Adds James Bond Star as Lead

Ana de Armas fans who were disappointed by her lack of screen time in the James Bond movie No Time to Die will get to see the Knives Out star lead her own action movie. De Armas was reportedly cast as the lead in Ballerina, a John Wick spinoff featuring the character briefly introduced in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum. The movie will be directed by Underworld filmmaker Len Wiseman.

De Armas is now in talks to star in Ballerina, Deadline reported Thursday. Shay Hatten, who worked on Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead and Parabellum, wrote the script. Lionsgate is once again the studio behind the project, with Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, and John Wick director Chad Stahelski as producers. The budget will reportedly be around $50 million to $80 million. It is not known if Keanu Reeves will be in the movie, but producers reportedly "hope" he and Anjelica Huston will make cameos.

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(Photo: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

News that Ballerina was in the works surfaced in October 2019, a few months after Parabellum hit theaters. In that movie, a character who is a ballerina training to be an assassin was introduced, played by Unity Phelan. In May 2020, Stahelski confirmed Wiseman would direct and explained how Ballerina will be different from the main John Wick movies.

"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 The Hollywood Reporter at the time. "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."

De Armas, 33, began acting in Cuba and Spain before moving to Los Angeles. She earned her first English-speaking role in Knick Knock (2015), before her career really took off when she starred as the AI Joi in Blade Runner 2049 in 2017. In 2019, she starred in Knives Out, which earned her the first Golden Globe nomination of her career.

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Last year was initially supposed to be a huge year for her, but No Time to Die was postponed until this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the latest James Bond film, she has a memorable part as Paloma, the spy 007 works with during his stop in Cuba. De Armas also stars in Andrew Dominik's upcoming Blonde, an unconventional Marilyn Monroe drama based on Joyce Carol Oates' book. Blonde will finally be released on Netflix next year. De Armas also stars in Netflix's upcoming action movie The Gray Man, directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, and Deep Water, co-starring Ben Affleck.