Tessa Thompson Will Use Dream Tech to Become the Ultimate Fencer in Balestra

God, I hope Balestra’s dreamscape actually looks like this.
God, I hope Balestra’s dreamscape actually looks like this.
Image: Marvel Studios

Continue to give Tessa Thompson a sword, Hollywood. It’s the only way.

Deadline reports that Thompson has boarded Nicole Dorsey’s upcoming sci-fi tinged psychological thriller alongside Hot Jafar himself, Aladdin’s Marwan Kenzari. She will also executive produce the movie. Deadline notes, “Screenplay was written by Imran Zaidi based on an original story by Aron Eli Coleite.”


Balestra will follow Thompson’s disgraced fencer Joanna Bathory as her husband gets her access to mysterious prototype technology that grants her entry into a lucid dreamscape. It allows her to continue training, getting the edge she needs to stage a competitive comeback at the Olympics. However, Joanna finds herself blurring the lines between professionalism and reality itself when the dream tech leads to her encountering a strange man named Elliot (Kenzari).

“Like the sport that Balestra explores, the conception of this piece is sharp and riveting,” Thompson said in a statement. “It is a fascinating look at the price of winning, and what trouble dreams can become when our sense of self worth, reality and identity are tethered too tightly to them. To embark on this journey, both in front of the lens and behind it, with Nicole Dorsey and this phenomenal team is a dream to me—a most beautiful one.”

While not much more is known about Balestra—and just how science-fictional its world will be, beyond this lucid-dreaming technology—we’re all for the idea of watching Tessa Thompson enter the dream-version of Dragon Ball’s hyperbolic time chamber to become the best fencer she can, even if it seems that her character’s going to be willing to go to some dark places to do so.

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James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!


Arcanum Five

Of the martial skills, fencing seems like one of the least useful ones to have if your primary mode of combat is in a winged equestrian cavalry. Even a cavalry saber would be rendered more or less useless since it’d be blocked by the wings.

Something with a pole arm seems more effective. Bows or crossbows would also be good, especially since I don’t see any tack on those pegasi and can assume that both hands are free.