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Ian McShane In Talks To Join John Wick Spinoff Series The Continental

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A familiar face may be welcoming viewers on their visits to The Continental, the upcoming John Wick spinoff series in the works at Starz, as /Film reports that Ian McShane is in talks to reprise his role from the movies for the show.

"There are certainly conversations about having Ian McShane back," said Carmi Zlotnick, President of Original Programming for Starz. "The good part is we have some sort of insight into his schedule because of our involvement in American Gods. We're in conversations with Ian."

In the John Wick series, McShane plays Winston, the owner and proprietor of a classy, upscale New York City hotel called The Continental which serves as a neutral territory for a global network of assassins.

Speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour, Zlotnick also elaborated on further details of the plot, characters, and format of The Continental, revealing that the series' protagonist would not be an experienced assassin, but rather a relative neophyte to the world of elite killers. 

"He won't be an assassin at the very beginning," Zlotnick said. "I don't want to give too much about the story away, but it's somebody who is new to the world. His origin story, when you go back to the beginning, unknown to him, has some ties to the world."

While the series has previously been characterized as being a prequel, Zlotnick says that the series is more likely set in the same time period as the movies.

"I think the timeline for this show runs parallel with the timelines of the movies," Zlotnick said. "So they're contemporaneous but they're separate. These are separate characters, separate stories. It's set in the John Wick world."

According to Zlotnick, The Continental is set to be an hour-long drama, arriving with an expected first season order of eight episodes.

"Usually we think about eight episodes for a first season," Zlotnick said. "Usually trying to do more can be a bridge too far, but we're discussing it. I think it's always got to fit the needs of the story as well."

Winston's not the only character who may be lining up a reservation on the action series, as franchise director Chad Stahelski has previously teased an appearance by Keanu Reeves' John Wick on the show as well. Reeves is also attached to the project as an executive producer.

"I think he would make an appearance," Stahelski said. "I think that's part of his thing. [But the series] isn't centered around John Wick."

The pilot script for The Contnental is being written by Chris Collins, who will also serve as the series' showrunner. Previously, Collins wrote for the TV series The WireSons of Anarchy, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

No release date has been announced yet for The Continental. In addition to the spinoff series, Lionsgate is also developing a movie script called Ballerinaa story about a young female assassin which is also reportedly intended to be a part of the John Wick cinematic universe.