‘They Have to Protect It:’ John Wick Spinoff Ballerina Delays Defended by Franchise Star

The first John Wick spinoff, Ballerina, has been delayed again and an original franchise star detailed why.

John Wick behind Ana De Armas staring intensely.

The John Wick franchise is meant to expand with several spinoffs and original franchise star Ian McShane explained the delays for the Ballerina.

Ballerina, which stars Ana de Armas in the lead role, has just been delayed further. Lionsgate announced the film, which had an original release date of June 7, 2024, will be delayed a year. The film is now meant to hit theaters on June 6, 2025. In a recent appearance on The One Show (via X/ @Adam_Khan100), Ian McShane, who plays Winston Scott in the John Wick franchise and will reprise his Winston in Ballerina, revealed that the delays aren’t because of “reshoots, it’s new shoots.”

Ana de Armas stars in the upcoming John Wick spinoff Ballerina.

John Wick: Chapter 4 star Ian McShane reveals why the upcoming spinoff film, Ballerina, is set before the most recent neo-noir sequel.

McShane confirmed that Ballerina‘s not undergoing “reshoots,” but shooting new scenes. The actor explained, “They’re shooting for Ballerina, which is the spinoff with Ana de Armas of the John Wick franchise. You know, it’s like they’ve got to protect the franchise.

McShane went on to explain that John Wick director Chad Shahelski also got involved in making sure the spinoff went well: “And obviously I did it, when was it? We did it about a year ago, we did the movie Ballerina, and they’ve looked at it, and Chad’s [Stahelski] come in, the guy who directed all the John Wick movies, and they want to make it better. Because they have to protect it. Because Keanu’s in it as well, and it takes place between John Wick 3 and John Wick 4.”

The actor also went on to reveal that The Continental prequel show was made without consulting Keanu Reeves or him. He said, “They just went and did it.”

The John Wick franchise delves into the world of attractions thanks to a new partnership led by Lionsgate that encourages fan engagement.

A production still of the Ballerina from John Wick spin-off

Anjelica Huston as the Director walks with Keanu Reeves' John Wick in front of ballerinasJohn Wick (Keanu Reeves) holding a puppy in the first John Wick movieKeanu Reeves as John Wick on a poster for John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum.

Everything To Know About Ballerina

Ballerina stars Ana de Armas in the lead role as Rooney, who is ready for revenge after her family was murdered. Her character debuted in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, but it was Unity Phelan who played the role, not de Armas.

Ian McShane previously explained that the film will be set between the third and fourth John Wick films. “This one is set in between John Wick 3 and John Wick 4, because Keanu is in it, too. You didn’t want to set it after John Wick 4, because then you’d have social media saying, “Oh, so he’s still alive! What’s he going to do next time? Is there a John Wick 5?!” This way, you can still keep up the pretense that there might not be a John Wick 5,” McShane said.

According to McShane, Winston will act as a shield for Rooney, using The Continental as a hideout from Gabriel Byrne’s mysterious villain. “This time we’re protecting Ana de Armas, and I had my great friend, Mr. Lance Reddick. God bless you, Lance — he passed away last year,” he said. “Lance and I bring our usual protection towards Ms. de Armas. And Len I found a delight to work for. Again, we worked out the script beforehand, so there was no wasted time.”

Underworld director Len Wiseman is at the helm, with a script from Saltburn‘s director Emerald Fennel, Shay Hatten, and Michael Finch. Chad Stahelski also acts as a producer, alongside Erica Lee and Basil Iwanyk. Aside from de Armas, Reeves, and McShane, Ballerina also stars Anjelica Huston, Gabriel Byrne, Lance Reddick, Catalina Sandino Moreno, and Norman Reedus.

Ballerina is scheduled for premiere on June 6, 2025.

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