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Lionsgate, ‘John Wick’ Producer Team on Female-Driven Action Movie ‘Ballerina’

Lionsgate has picked up Shay Hatten’s action script “Ballerina” and set up the project with “John Wick” franchise producer Basil Iwanyk through his Thunder Road company.

Lionsgate won an auction for “Ballerina,” with Warner Bros. and Universal also expressing interest in the script, which centers on a young woman raised as an assassin who must hunt down the assassins who killed her own family. It’s said to be similar to Luc Besson’s 1990 actioner “La Femme Nikita,” which starred Anne Parillaud as a teen junkie who murders a policeman and becomes a skilled assassin.

Hatten also wrote the comedy “Maximum King!” which was named to the 2016 Black List. He wrote that script and “Ballerina” while working for Robert Downey Jr.’s Team Downey. “Maximum King!” is a fictional look at Stephen King writing and directing the 1986 horror-comedy movie “Maximum Overdrive,” which starred Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, and Yeardley Smith.

The first “John Wick” grossed nearly $90 million worldwide and “John Wick: Chapter Two” took in about $170 million worldwide. Lionsgate and Iwanyk are developing a third iteration of the Keanu Reeves franchise. Iwanyk’s credits include the “Clash of the Titans” franchise, “The Town,” “Sicario,” and “The Current War,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon, and premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Hatten is repped by CAA and Lee Stobby Entertainment.

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