We’re just four months away from John Wick: Chapter 4’s arrival amongst the other 2023 movie releases, but the Keanu Reeves-led saga is also in the midst of expanding beyond the main film series. The prequel series called The Continental heading to Peacock sometime in 2023, and No Time to Die’s Ana de Armas is leading a theatrical spinoff called Ballerina. That spinoff has now begun filming, and along with de Armas commemorating this momentous occasion on social media, it’s been revealed that a familiar face from the John Wick movies is appearing.
Let’s start with the latter topic first. Per THR, Ian McShane has come aboard Ballerina to reprise Winston, the manager of the New York branch of The Continental, the hotel that caters exclusively to assassins and enforces strict rules about business not being conducted on its premises. McShane is one of only two actors who’ve appeared with Keanu Reeves in all of the John Wick movies released so far, the other being Lance Reddick's Charon, The Continental’s concierge. A young Winston will be played by Colin Woodell in The Continental limited series, which boasts a huge cast.
Because of The Continental is such an integral component to this criminal underworld, since Ana de Armas’ Ballerina character will evidently find herself in New York, it makes sense that she would run into Ian McShane’s Winston during the course of her journey. There’s also the possibility that de Armas’ character and Winston might meet elsewhere in the world, but so far in the John Wick movies we’ve only seen Winston on The Continental’s premises, so I’d be curious to see what would draw him outside of the Big Apple. Along with his John Wick appearances, McShane’s other recent credits include Hellboy, American Gods and Deadwood: The Movie.
Back to Ballerina beginning principal photography, Ana de Armas went on her Instagram Stories to share a behind-the-scenes look at her first day on the John Wick spinoff. It may a while until an official image from the production is released, but at least we have this peek at de Armas going through the makeup process.
Ballerina sees Ana de Armas playing a young woman who was raised to be an assassin and uses her lethal skills to exact revenge on the people who killed her family. In addition to performing in front of the camera, de Armas is executive producing Ballerina, and her one major request for the spinoff was that a female writer be brought aboard. As a result, Emerald Fennell was looped in on penning duties, with John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum’s Shay Hatten having also worked on the script. Underworld’s Len Wiseman is directing the feature.
CinemaBlend will continue passing along news about Ballerina’s progress, including the other actors who will join Ana de Armas and Ian McShane. John Wick: Chapter 4 opens in theaters on March 24, 2023.
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.