Just when you think Gabriel Byrne is at home, enjoying the holidays and maybe some eggnog, he’s not!
Deadline has the startling news:
EXCLUSIVE: The 2x Primetime Emmy nominated and Golden Globe winning Gabriel Byrne has closed a deal, we hear, to star opposite Ana de Armas in the John Wick spinoff Ballerina.
He joins the ever-expanding cast which includes Ian McShane, Keanu Reeves, Anjelica Huston, Lance Reddick, Catalina Sandino Moreno, and Norman Reedus.
Producer Basil Iwanyk said: “For decades, Gabriel’s mysterious and enigmatic presence has enriched dozens of films. You can never quite be sure what he’s thinking, and that’s perfect for this world.”
They include a lovely précis of Gabriel’s recent work:
Bryne’s Emmy noms and Globe win are for his turn on HBO’s In Treatment. The Miller’s Crossing star will next be seen as literary giant Samuel Beckett in the biopic Dance First for The Theory of Everything director James Marsh. Byrne can currently be seen as Enzo Ferrari in Grindstone’s Lamborghini: The Man Behind the Legend. He also recently starred in Epix’s series War of the Worlds and the feature Murder at Yellowstone City. Byrne’s other recent film and television credits include the smash hit Hereditary, directed by Ari Aster, and the acclaimed limited series ZeroZeroZero directed by Janus Metz, Stefano Sollima, and Pablo Trapero for Amazon Studios. Gabriel Byrne is represented by The Agency and Paradigm.
Filming began November 21 in Prague. I wonder if Gabriel is enjoying eggnog there? Well, let’s hope so!
Collider adds some helpful background:
What is known is that the film and its story is that it will center on de Armas’ character, who is a young assassin who is trained at the Ballet school seen in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. The story sees her set out on a quest for revenge against those who killed her family. Series star Keanu Reeves also gave some insight into the film during CCXP, revealing that it takes place between John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and John Wick: Chapter 4, and provided a description of the upcoming film’s narrative:
“[she is a] woman who has some very difficult circumstances and who’s looking for revenge. Whoever killed her- someone killed her father. Who could that be? And so it’s her journey for actually understanding her past. She lost her father at a young age, and she doesn’t really know what happened. Only that someone came into the house and killed her father, who had a tattoo. And as we know in John Wick, if you have a tattoo, something’s going on.”
If you have not already, I don’t think you must watch all of the previous John Wick films to appreciate this new movie, but if you want to dip your toes in the violent Wickian martial arts/gun-crazy world in which Keanu Reeves manages to survive every single time, I would recommend the first one, from 2014. It stays with me, partly because of Keanu’s strength at projecting despair combined with righteous indignation + competence, and partly because Michael Nyqvist, the wonderful Swedish actor who helped bring the Stieg Larsson books to the screen, plays his nemesis, and does so with brilliant intensity and menace. Also, Ian McShane is a wonderful presence in his recurring role, as is Lance Reddick. So watch that one.
Angelica Huston first appears in Chapter 3 of the John Wick action franchise and she will star in this new film as well. The more I think about all of the amazing actors coalescing around Ballerina, the more excited I am!
As an amateur creator of fan work, I applaud this effort, which is light years beyond my graphic skills! He really sets the tone, doesn’t he?
Giant Freakin Robot is not a place I visit much. However, they shared the poster above and they’ve got some great insights into this new film and its genesis, and I thank them for all of it!
John Wick: Chapter 4 is going to continue the mainline story, but the Ballerina movie is going to expand on the faction of Ballerinas that is led by Angelica Houston, who was shown in John Wick: Chapter 3. Both Keanu Reeves and Ian McShane are in talks to reprise their respective roles for the spinoff movie. Ana de Armas, Reeves, and McShane should make for quite a powerhouse trio for this universe-expanding feature.
Ana de Armas is meant to take on the role of a woman who hunts down those who have murdered her family. While the theme of revenge is something that her and Reeves’s character share, Armas is likely to play a much different assassin in her leading role. She is much younger than Reeves, so we would imagine that she is going to be far more inexperienced when it comes to killing, and that could be why John Wick is brought into the movie.
See Ana De Armas in Action
She played Paloma in Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond and she is a powerhouse! Take a look:
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum Trailer
This will give you a hint of the Angelica Huston role as the leader of the faction of Ballerinas, the origin story, in a way, of the new film. Don’t be fooled though. This trailer is mostly Keanu Reeves killing people in that calm and zen way he has when he plays John Wick . . . surprised
And just whom will Gabriel play?
No idea. So stay tuned for more news in the world of the arts/revenge fantasies/magical use of firearms/movie franchises that grow and grow! heart