Emerald Fennell, the Oscar-winning writer of the 2020 black comedy thriller Promising Young Woman, has signed on to help pen the script for the upcoming John Wick series spin-off, Ballerina. Ana de Arams, who will play the spin-off’s titular lead role, revealed during a new interview with Elle magazine that she personally selected the filmmaker to contribute to the screenplay as one of its scribes.
Fennell is working on the script for the upcoming project with Shay Hatten, the writer of 2019’s John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and co-scribe of last year’s Netflix zombie heist movie, Army of the Dead. Fennell is also collaborating with Underworld series writer-director-producer Len Wiseman, who’s set to helm the upcoming spin-off.
During the interview, de Armas spoke about the importance of having a female scribe and voice on Ballerina. “It was really important for me to hire a female writer, because to that point when I got involved in the project, it was only the director, Len Wiseman, and another guy. And I was like, ‘That’s not going to work.’
“So I interviewed, like, five or six female writers. We hired Emerald Fennell, which I was so proud of,” the Saturn Award-winning actress shared.
Behind the camera, Fennell is best known for her work as both the writer and helmer of Promising Young Woman. For her work on the thriller, which marked her feature film directorial debut, she won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay last year.
The filmmaker is also known for her work on television, including serving as the showrunner for the second season of the BBC thriller series, Killing Eve, in 2019. She was nominated for two Emmy Awards for her work on the drama, including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.
As an actress, Fennell appeared on the second season of Netflix’s royal drama, The Crown. For her portrayal of Camilla Parker Bowles on the show, she received another Emmy Award nomination, for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Fennell is next set to appear alongside Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in the Barbie movie, which is set to be released on July 21, 2023.
The plot details for Ballerina have not been yet been revealed. But what is known so far about the John Wick spin-off is that it will focus on the life of De Armas’ character, a young assassin who’s trained at the ballet school that was featured in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. She sets out on a quest for revenge against those who killed her family.
Besides De Armas, there have not yet been any other casting announcements for Ballerina. There also hasn’t been any reports about when the upcoming spin-off will be released in theaters.
However, the next installment in the original franchise, John Wick 4, which features Keanu Reeves reprising the eponymous role, is set to premiere in theaters on March 24, 2023. A fifth installment in the franchise is also currently in development.
If Reeves makes a cameo as his famed John Wick character in Ballerina, he’ll be reunited with de Armas on screen for the first time since they starred together in the 2015 home-invasion thriller, Knock Knock. The drama served as de Armas’s breakout role in the U.S.
While no release date has been announced yet for Ballerina, de Armas will next be seen in the action thriller, The Gray Man. The drama is set to premiere on Netflix on July 22.
The actress also plays Marilyn Monroe in scribe-helmer Andrew Dominik’s biographical psychological drama, Blonde. The film, which is one of the year’s most anticipated projects, is also set to be released on Netflix this year, and will premiere on September 23.