John Wick Presents Ballerina Looks Like a Genuine Wick Flick

Mike Powers


The next John Wick will be worth the wait. That was the message Lionsgate had at CinemaCon 2024 as it dropped all new footage from John Wick Presents Ballerina, the now June 2025 release starring Ana de Armas, Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Anjelica Huston, Lance Reddick, Gabriel Byrne, and Norman Reedus.

Originally scheduled for release this June 7, Lionsgate delayed the film an entire year because it found fan anticipation for it was so high, the company wanted to make it even bigger and better than it already was. And so it was pushed back to add more set pieces to amp up the action. The action already on display in the footage screened at CinemaCon was fairly impressive on its own though, so to think it’ll be even bigger is wild.

In the footage, we see De Armas sitting with a ballerina music box and thinking back to her childhood as a dancer on stage. Anjelica Huston’s character from the previous Wick movies is talking to her and says that her childhood was taken from her and she needs to fight to get it back. And that’s literal because it’s cut with footage of her training in mixed martial arts, with guns and more. She also gets elaborate tattoos on her back in a room filled with other trainees.

We see the character arrive at the Continental and give a coin to Lance Reddick’s character. She’s greeted by Ian McShane’s character, Winston, as she goes into a room at the hotel and picks out a slew of guns. This all takes place between John Wick Chapter 3 and 4.

She’s on a mission of vengeance, of course, and apparently will have to work her way through an entire town led by a character played by Gabriel Byrne. We see her talk to a character played by Norman Reedus who tells her she has no idea what she’s walking into. Whatever it is, it requires her to wield a massive flame thrower from the back of a moving pickup truck. She shoots flames into the vehicle, around it, and more.

Finally, a train pulls up and a man steps off. “You’re him,” the Ballerina says. “The man they call Baba Yaga. How do I start doing what you do?” A few more cuts of action and we reveal Keanu Reeves as John Wick. “Looks like you already have.”

Halle Berry at CinemaCon 2024.

Halle Berry at CinemaCon 2024.
Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez (Getty Images)

Ballerina was Lionsgate’s biggest genre film on display but there were a few others that looks very promising. The first is called Never Let Go, directed by Alexandre Aja (Crawl), produced by 21 Laps (Stranger Things), and starring Halle Berry. It’s a horror film set in an apocalyptic future following a mother who has twin sons who were born after the end of the world. Because of that, they can only leave the house if they have a rope tied around them that’s connected to the house. “One touch without the rope is all it takes,” Berry’s character says of the evil out in the world. So, say it with us, “Never let go.”

Of course, they’re kids though, and having normal curiosities, they decide to go further and further on the rope. At one point, the rope breaks and something attacks. One of the boys tells Mom that maybe it’s safe now but she explains that’s what the evil wants them to think. There are a lot of very scary images throughout such as a dozen hands wrapped around a tree and climbing up it like a spider.

At the event, Berry called the film wholly original and like a “dark beautiful nightmare.” We’re intrigued. It’ll be released on September 27.

Aziz Ansari at CinemaCon 2024.

Aziz Ansari at CinemaCon 2024.
Photo: Gabe Ginsberg (Getty Images)

Finally, comedian Aziz Ansari is back with a new film he wrote, directed, and stars in called Good Fortune. In the film, Ansari plays a down-on-his-luck guy who is doing odd jobs when he starts to become almost an assistant for a super-rich asshole played by Seth Rogen. One day, Ansari’s character meets an angel named Gabriel, played by Keanu Reeves. Gabriel wants to help the character by showing him that his life isn’t as bad as he thinks and that Rogen’s life isn’t as good as it looks on the outside.

So, he life-swaps them. Trading Places meets It’s a Wonderful Life. Ansari becomes the rich asshole and Rogen becomes the poor assistant. Gabriel hopes this will show Ansari how life is about more than material possessions except… he disagrees. Ansari’s character loves his new life and wants to keep it.

This creates a problem among the angels because Gabriel can’t reverse the roles back until Ansari wants to. As a result, he loses his wings and is forced into a normal life. Before that happens though, he lets Rogen’s character have his memories back and it becomes a battle of wits between the two men, with Gabriel in the middle.

Ansari is still working on the film, and even has some more filming to do, but seems very proud and excited about of what looks like a solid mix of comedy, pathos, and drama. There’s no release date yet but it should be in the next year.

So which of these genre films do you find most intriguing?


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.



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