‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ Writer Hints At Baba Yaga Origins In ‘Ballerina’ Spinoff

Vengeance reigns in the clandestine world of John Wick, and it won’t be any different for its upcoming spinoff, Ballerina. Instead of Wick, the movie will reintroduce the character of Rooney, who first appears in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, and like the former, is on a quest to satisfy her thirst for revenge after the murder of her family.

John Wick Spinoff Ballerina

That doesn’t mean the beloved assassin plays no role in fleshing out the lore of the franchise, however. Screenwriter Shay Hatten, who also penned script for John Wick: Chapter 4, shared the significance of having a different character unpack Wick’s origin story, and how the spinoff has been built up from the events of the third film.

Ballerina has just been a completely fascinating journey for me overall because it started as a spec that was not related to the John Wick movies six years ago,” he said. “And then just kind of got brought in and then [director] Chad [Stahelski] was kind enough to let us kind of set it up in three by showing the ballet theater. And by nature of that, it kind of teed up this story really well. But it’s really cool because that story [wasn’t] attached to the John Wick universe; it was set in a different part of the world.”

Delving more into details, Hatten explained that the shared roots for Wick and Rooney presents an opportunity to better understand Baba Yaga:

“The original script was set [in the] Swiss Alps, which is territory that the John Wick movies have not touched. So, I think in a great way, it meant that we could kind of stick to the original story of that script from Ballerina without stepping on the toes of John Wick. But also it’s a character who we know went to the same ballet academy as John. I think in Ballerina you’ll get to see some of the hints of what John experienced during his origins in that place, but through the eyes of a different character. It still solves some of the answers of Wick, just through the eyes of a new character.”

Set between the timelines of Chapter 3 and 4, Ballerina is the fifth installment in the Wickverse, and will serve to expand the criminal underworld alongside TV show spin-off The Continental, which is being redeveloped into a three-part limited series. It stars Ana de Armas (Knives Out, No Time to Die) and The Walking Dead‘s Normal Reedus as co-leads, with Keanu Reeves (Wick), Ian McShane (Winston Scott), Anjelica Huston (“The Director”), and the late Lance Reddick (Charon) reprising their respective roles.

The feature will also feature fight scenes that are on “another level”, presenting a cure for action-loving fans who have to wait a little longer for John Wick 5 and future sequels, following Stahelski’s announcement to take a break from the franchise after Chapter 4. A release date for Ballerina has yet to be announced.