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The Continental Trailer: Mel Gibson's MIA But John Wick Fans Won't Watch Anyway

One might assume the more "John Wick," the better, but that doesn't appear to be the case if online reactions are anything to go off of. 

The franchise is currently riding high off the success of "John Wick: Chapter 4." The film received a ton of critical praise, with many referring to it as one of the best action films of all time, including Looper's own Alistair Ryder, who said it was "The biggest and best 'John Wick' sequel yet." It's also cleaning up at the box office, so there's clearly an incentive to keep this franchise going, even if the titular assassin's fate is up in the air after the ending of "John Wick: Chapter 4."

A spin-off set in the same universe focusing on a character played by Ana de Armas is in the works titled "Ballerina." Plus, Peacock has a three-episode prequel miniseries centered on the assassin hotel called The Continental, coming out later this year. Peacock just dropped the trailer for the series, and it appears it has all the pieces for another classic "John Wick"-esque adventure. But while there are assassins and gunplay galore, many fans are already writing off the series due to its inclusion of Mel Gibson, who's set to play a new character named Cormac. Gibson doesn't appear in the trailer (probably for good reason), but many fans will skip this installment. 

Mel Gibson's controversies are well-documented

Mel Gibson was one of the most popular stars in Hollywood throughout the 1980s and '90s, starring in many high-profile films like "Lethal Weapon" and "Braveheart." However, that star diminished considerably following a leaked tape from a 2006 DUI arrest where he went on an anti-Semitic rant. Years later, other leaked tapes had Gibson spouting racial slurs, and he's been accused of being physically abusive to his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva. For years, Gibson couldn't get work in Hollywood, but as seems to be the case, after simply going away for a little bit, someone can return and get work like nothing happened.

With years of on-and-off work, Gibson returned to his somewhat former glory with 2016's "Hacksaw Ridge." He was nominated for best director at that year's Academy Awards, and in the years since, he's continued working both in front of and behind the camera, including the 2017 comedy "Daddy's Home 2." While many of the films he's starred in have been lower-budget productions, "The Continental" certainly indicates a shift into more mainstream territory. 

Cormac likely won't be the major focus of the Peacock series. That distinction goes to a younger version of Winston, who Colin Woodell will play. Still, Gibson's involvement with the show, combined with previous hateful behavior, means a lot of people have already checked out of this hotel.

John Wick fans haven't forgiven Mel Gibson

Given all of these details of Mel Gibson's personal life, it makes sense Peacock would want to downplay his involvement in the miniseries. And while he may not be the main character, he definitely has the biggest name out of anyone in the cast, and many "John Wick" fans have already written off the show.

Underneath an article from The Hollywood Reporter on Twitter, numerous comments have flooded in from people saying they won't watch directly due to Gibson's involvement. For example, @TheCitizen616 wrote, "Wow, and I actually was looking forward to this series. Pity." It's not the first time people have refused to watch a series due to an actor's involvement; as @ydavey pointed out, "I never watched Ray Donovan because of Jon Voight. Not going to watch a John Wick series with Mel Gibson." And that's not even getting into the litany of memes and gifs of people expressing disgust and outrage.

To be fair, there are comments from people who seem excited to watch "The Continental." But it's clear Mel Gibson's inclusion puts a damper on what otherwise could've been a uniformly positive reception. Hopefully, future "John Wick" projects avoid such controversies, like casting Kanye West for "Ballerina."