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Ian McShane reveals cool new details on John Wick spinoff, Ballerina

January 27th, 2024 by Marc Comments

While we all immediately think of Keanu Reeves when someone mentions the John Wick universe, Reeves is only a part of a much wider world and no-one is bigger in the extended cast than Ian McShane who plays The Continental owner Winston Scott – heck, his character even got his own spin-off series… but we’ll get back to that.

Now McShane has been chatting about Wick and, in particular the spinoffs that build out the bigger world that is set to be explored in a much bigger way.

The star has been talking about Ballerina, which comes out this June, the first big-screen John Wick spinoff and has revealed some cool new details as well as confirming where it takes place in the wider timeline of the John Wick movies.

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“This one is set in between John Wick 3 and John Wick 4, because Keanu is in it, too,” he says, “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.”

Pretense, you say? Hmmmmmmmmmmm

We’ve known for some time that Reeves was set to appear but McShane reveals that he and the late, great Lance Reddick as Charon, will also be appearing: “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. Lance and I bring our usual protection towards Ms de Armas. And [director] Len [Wiseman] I found a delight to work for. Again, we worked out the script beforehand, so there was no wasted time.”

WATCH: Peacock release opening gun fight from John Wick spinoff, The Continental

The titular Ballerina, played by De Armas, will be a nod to the Ruska Roma that we met in John Wick III and in it she will be playing an assassin trying to get revenge on the men who murdered her family, it will also star Anjelica Huston, who appeared in John Wick III, Catalina Sandino Moreno, and Norman Reedus.

“Len had conferred with Chad [Stahelski], so I think there’s a continuity from the other Wick movies,” McShane continues, “So it should be very enjoyable. [Ana] was lovely to work with. I think Gabriel Byrne plays the chief villain, so there’s a good actor for you.”

So we’ve learned that the Ballerina will seek protecting from Wick, Winston and Charon at the Continental and that Gabriel Byrne is the main villain – to my knowledge, this is all new info.

However, it seems that, while he’s excited for Ballerina and the fact that it’s been made in conjunction with Chad Stahelski, who is overseeing the development of the John Wick universe, it seems that he wasn’t as happy about Peacock’s The Continental TV limited series which explored Winston [played by Colin Woodell] and Charon’s [Ayomide Adegun] origins before the met Wick, calling it a ‘cash grab’.

Chad Stahelski to oversee John Wick and Highlander universes on Film, TV and beyond

“I wouldn’t watch it. I have no intentions – nobody – I don’t think Keanu watched it, neither has Chad,” he says of the series, “It had nothing to do with our movies. It’s just a question of a TV company cashing in on the series and taking the option to [air?]. They never asked us about anything so why would I be interested in seeing it? I’m afraid their arrogance in getting the show out is beyond me so I wish them well. I think it’s come and gone, hasn’t it?”

This may be a little harsh as The Continental was actually very enjoyable and, for me at least, really added to the characters and wider story; that’s not to say I don’t understand why McShane might be unhappy, especially since his character, Winston, is front-and-centre in the show, but as far as I’m aware, the series was made with the blessing of the wider John Wick creative team, although in reading over the early reports on the series, McShane and Reeves were both touted to cameo… could this be why McShane isn’t happy about it? Whatever the reason, if you’re a John Wick fan, I’d definitely recommend The Continental and I’ll see you all at the cinema in June for Ballerina.

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More John Wick spinoffs, a High Table series and – yes! – an anime are in development!

Sources: Movieweb & Dark Horizons

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….