Why The Cast Of The Continental: From The World Of John Wick Looks So Familiar

After four increasingly successful theatrical chapters, the "John Wick" franchise is branching out into spin-offs. "Ballerina," starring Ana de Armas, is coming later on, but the first spin-off reaching fans is "The Continental: From the World of John Wick." The streaming series takes place in the 1970s, decades before the events of the first "John Wick" film, and is being billed as "a three-part event." But if the limited run is successful, "The Continental" may return, and there are already preliminary plans in place for a potential second season set in the '80s.

A "John Wick" prequel television show was first teased all the way back in early 2017, before "John Wick: Chapter 2" had even hit theaters. Before "The Continental" became a Peacock original series, it was originally a Starz property. Much has changed since those early days, including an almost complete overhaul of the core creative team from the showrunner on down. Keanu Reeves was initially expected to be involved in the series as both a producer and an actor, reprising his role as John Wick, but he is not involved in the final product whatsoever. Chad Stahelski, the director of all four films to date, was originally slated to direct the pilot episode of "The Continental," but he ended up only serving as an executive producer.

Not a single cast member from the series has been in any of the "John Wick" films, so let's break down all these new faces and figure out why some of them look so familiar.

Colin Woodell as Winston Scott

Colin Woodell is taking on the role of the younger Winston Scott in "The Continental: From the World of John Wick." Winston is not just the main character of the TV series, but also one of the key players in all four "John Wick" films, where he is played by the one and only Ian McShane. At first glance, Woodell and McShane have very little in common. Woodell is nearly half a foot taller than McShane and employs an accent on the series that sounds nothing like the Winston of the films, which he described as a deliberate choice to IGN: "I really didn't want to match what Ian was doing because Ian does something really specific and it's hard to gauge exactly what it is, and it makes him so special."

At the start of his career, Woodell's first notable part was a recurring role throughout Season 2 of the Lifetime series "Devious Maids." He has had small parts in noteworthy films like "Searching," "Unsane," and Michael Bay's "Ambulance," but his biggest roles have all been in television. He played significant roles on the shows "The Originals" and the recent "The Flight Attendant." Interestingly enough, "The Continental" is not his first time starring in a television spinoff of a movie series: In 2018, he played one of the main characters on the USA Network adaptation of the "Purge" movie series.

Ayomide Adegun as Charon

Besides Winston, the only other major character in "The Continental" that fans will recognize from the films is Charon. As Winston's right-hand man, a close friend to John Wick, and the concierge of the Continental Hotel, Charon is one of the most important figures in the entire sprawling world of the "John Wick" franchise. In the films, Charon was played by Lance Reddick, who tragically passed away at the age of 60 just days before the release of "John Wick: Chapter 4."

In "The Continental," Charon is played by Ayomide Adegun. Based on the trailer, the character actually seems to start out as a henchman of the main villain rather than Winston's close associate. "John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum" got Charon involved in the action for the first time after keeping him on the sidelines for the first two movies, and Charon is likely to get his hands dirty in "The Continental" as well. 

If there is anyone in the cast who absolutely does not look familiar, it's Adegun, who makes his acting debut with "The Continental." Leaping straight into a lead role on a major franchise spinoff right out of the gate is something most actors only dream about, but it's a reality for Adegun, who will also appear in the upcoming "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" in the role of Pliny "Pup" Harrington.

Mel Gibson as Cormac

The most recognizable face in the cast of "The Continental" is undoubtedly Mel Gibson. He is taking on the role of Cormac, who seems to be positioned as the main villain of the three-part television show. He is clearly a man of great power and influence and is at odds with Winston and Charon. From the trailer, it appears Cormac may be the current owner and manager of the New York Continental Hotel in the 1970s, though we will have to wait and see the series to know for certain. If he is the top dog of the Continental, then Winston's journey to dethrone Cormac and take his place makes sense as the overarching story of the series and lines up well with the film canon.

Gibson had many huge roles during the heyday of his career. Some of his most iconic characters include Mad Max Rockatansky in the first three "Mad Max" films, William Wallace in "Braveheart," and Riggs in the "Lethal Weapon" movie series. Gibson's career went through a major downfall after multiple highly publicized personal scandals led to his temporary ousting from Hollywood. After a few years of being on the figurative blacklist, Gibson's career has been revitalized as both a director, with the Oscar-winning "Hacksaw Ridge," and as an actor with lead roles in mainstream movies like "The Expendables 3" and "Daddy's Home 2."

Katie McGrath as The Adjudicator

Katie McGrath plays the role of The Adjudicator in "The Continental." Fans of the franchise will remember becoming acquainted with a character named The Adjudicator in "John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum," where the role was played by Asia Kate Dillon. Given Dillon and McGrath's ages and the 1970s setting of the TV show, versus the modern setting of the films, it's safe to say that McGrath is not playing the same character but rather a different adjudicator. In the "John Wick" universe, an adjudicator is someone who enforces the rules of the High Table and doles out punishments to those who break them.

McGrath is best known for her leading role as Morgana on the BBC series "Merlin," and for her role as Lena Luthor, the half-sister of Lex Luthor, on the "Supergirl" series. She joined the cast in Season 2 and stuck with the show until The CW canceled it ahead of its sixth season's production cycle. Her feature film roles haven't been quite as large, but she was in blockbuster projects like "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" and the first "Jurassic World."

Adam Shapiro as Lemmy

Adam Shapiro plays the role of Lemmy on "The Continental," a brand new character to the world of "John Wick." From the trailer, he appears to be part of a gunslinging team that operates outside of and potentially at odds with the Continental Hotel.

Shapiro is a recognizable character actor who has racked up over 90 credits since making his acting debut in the early 2000s with bit parts on "Gilmore Girls" and "The Andy Dick Show." Before the end of the decade, he was appearing in major feature films like "The House Bunny" and the Oscar-nominated "A Single Man," though usually in brief roles. His parts remained on the smaller side until he eventually picked up recurring characters on big shows like "Sense8," "Kingdom," and "The Affair." He was in two huge films recently: the Oscar-winning "Mank" from David Fincher and the BAFTA-nominated "She Said," released two years later.

His most recognizable role to date was as Mr. Shapiro in Mindy Kaling's Netflix comedy series "Never Have I Ever." Fans of the new smash-hit "The Bear" might also recognize Shapiro from his brief appearance in the show's second season.

Jessica Allain as Lou

At just 26 years old, Jessica Allain is still near the start of her career. Even though she only made her big-screen acting debut in 2015, she has already appeared in many high-profile projects. She started out with tiny, uncredited appearances in the likes of "Eddie the Eagle" and "Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation." A couple of years later, she graduated to more substantial roles, beginning in 2019 with a spot in the star-studded cast of Steven Soderbergh's "The Laundromat" alongside huge names like Meryl Streep and Gary Oldman.

At this point in her career, Allain is likely best recognized from her role in the recent Netflix re-quel "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." She played Catherine, one of Leatherface's many victims during a massacre aboard a party bus. She is the one who gets sawed clean in half while attempting to flee through one of the bus windows.

In "The Continental," Allain plays Lou, who seems to be on the same team as Lemmy and Miles (Hubert Point-Du Jour). "The Continental" is likely to become Allain's largest role yet by quite some margin. She can be seen involved in multiple action scenes in the trailer, and you can probably bet on her being one of the most lethal characters on the show.

Jeremy Bobb as Mayhew

Featured in the role of Mayhew on "The Continental" is Jeremy Bobb. Not much is known about his character yet, but he can be glimpsed in the trailer taking sneaky photographs. Bobb only began acting in the late 2000s but has already garnered memorable roles in many highly acclaimed films and TV shows. Early on in his career, he found his footing with small roles in a pair of Martin Scorsese-driven projects: "Boardwalk Empire" and "The Wolf of Wall Street." A three-episode run on "House of Cards" began upping his profile, and he had another big role later that same year in "The Drop," opposite Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini.

Bobb's biggest and most recognizable role to date was arguably as Herman Barrow, one of the main characters on both seasons of the Emmy-winning Cinemax series "The Knick." He also enjoyed major recurring roles on the shows "Jessica Jones," "Manhunt," "The Son," and "Russian Doll," plus key roles on the miniseries "The Outsider," "Godless," and "Escape at Dannemora." In the world of film, you might recognize Bobb from his roles in "Under the Silver Lake," "Marshall," or the 2022 "Goodnight Mommy" remake. Most recently, he was seen on the rebooted "Inside Amy Schumer." He had appeared in prior seasons of the show as well, including one episode where he reprised his Herman Barrow role from "The Knick."

Nhung Kate as Yen

Nhung Kate plays Yen in "The Continental," who seems to be one of the main fighters mixing it up in the show's numerous action scenes. Kate is a Vietnamese actress, and "The Continental" will be her first full English-language production. Her only crossover with English-language filmmaking prior to the series was her titular starring role in the horror film "The Housemaid," which was shot within the Vietnamese film industry but had dialogue in both Vietnamese and English.

"The Continental" will only be Kate's 10th screen credit, but her short resume doesn't mean she isn't already an established name in her home country. She has played starring roles in movies like "Hollow" and "Sút" and TV shows like "Swapping Fate," most of which haven't had much reach outside of Vietnam. Her starring role in the 2016 Vietnamese blockbuster "Bitcoin Heist" broke through to significantly larger international audiences. It also allowed her to demonstrate her action chops, which likely factored into her landing the Yen role on "The Continental."

Sallay Garnett as The Concierge

Charon's official title in the "John Wick" films is the concierge of the Continental Hotel. "The Continental: From the World of John Wick" is set before Charon acquired that title, with the position filled by someone else back in the 1970s. The current Continental concierge in the TV prequel series is played by Sallay Garnett, who also goes by the name Sallay-Matu Garnett.

Garnett is new to acting and has spent almost all of her career thus far working in Irish television. Her first project arrived as recently as 2017, with a supporting role in the Acorn TV original series "Striking Out." She stuck with Acorn TV for another series, "Finding Joy," released the following year. Garnett has picked up a couple of other small roles since, and most recently appeared as a side character in Seasons 1 and 2 of "Kin," an Irish series brought to the U.S. via AMC+.

If you aren't familiar with any of Garnett's prior TV roles but she still looks familiar to you, then you might know her by a different name. Under the stage name Loah, Garnett leads a successful career as a musician. Her sister, Emma Garnett (who goes by the stage name Feather), is also a musician, and the two frequently collaborate while also releasing songs as solo artists. Loah's music falls under her own custom genre that she calls ArtSoul. We will have to wait and see if any of her music is used in "The Continental."

Peter Greene as Young Uncle Charlie

Peter Greene has been acting since the '90s and, although he rarely takes center stage, he has been in numerous high-profile films. One of his earliest roles has forever remained his most recognizable, in the seminal "Pulp Fiction." Greene played Zed, the racist, rapist police officer who gets his crotch blasted by a shotgun blast from Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) and is destined for more torture after that, and who is the subject of Bruce Willis's iconic line, "Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead." Some of Greene's other notable films include "The Mask," "Blue Streak," and his failed starring role in "Lowball," which was the only film he ever produced.

Greene's roles have dropped in quality a little bit over the years. These days, many of his movies are low-budget, straight-to-video action flicks. "The Continental" could end up being a bit of a return to form for him. He is playing the role of Uncle Charlie — the younger version of Charlie the cleaner, the man John Wick calls in to take care of the corpses in his home in the first film. This small character was originally played by David Patrick Kelly on the big screen. However, the ages don't quite line up, with Greene only being 15 years younger than Kelly in real life, while the series takes place around 40 years before the first film.

Ray McKinnon as Jenkins

Ray McKinnon, in the role of Jenkins on "The Continental," can briefly be seen using a sniper rifle in the trailer — a long-range weapon that hasn't been featured in the "John Wick" series since the original movie. McKinnon is most likely to be recognized for his role as Reverend Smith on HBO's "Deadwood." In a similar vein, McKinnon has been a part of many other Westerns and old-timey period pieces over the years such as "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," "Comanche Moon," "Dead Man's Walk," and, most recently, "News of the World" from director Paul Greengrass.

McKinnon's other most recognizable TV character is undoubtedly Linc, whom he played on Season 4 of "Sons of Anarchy" and later reprised for the spinoff series "Mayans M.C." McKinnon's role was expanded for the latter program, with him appearing in all five seasons of the show. Some of McKinnon's other high-profile projects include the films "Ford v Ferrari," "Take Shelter," "Mud," "Apollo 13," and "The Blind Side," in which he played Coach Cotton, plus the recent Emmy-winning miniseries "Dopesick." McKinnon is also a writer, producer, and director. He hasn't helmed too many projects behind the camera, but he did create and run the acclaimed television series "Rectify," which ran for four seasons on Sundance TV.

Mark Musashi and Marina Mazepa as Hansel and Gretel

Mark Musashi and Marina Mazepa play a pair of assassins named Hansel and Gretel in "The Continental." Neither of the performers have all that much experience with acting, but they both have extensive histories with action. Given their backgrounds in stuntwork, it's a safe bet that Hansel and Gretel will be two of the biggest antagonists on the show.

While you might not know Mazepa's face, there's a much higher chance that you might recognize her acrobatic movements and impressive contortionist stunt work from James Wan's 2021 horror movie "Malignant." Mazepa was one of the two stunt performers behind Gabriel, the malicious entity that protrudes from the back of Madison's (Annabelle Wallis) head. The unique challenges of the role required Mazepa to perform multiple fight scenes and stunts while mainly moving backward. If she does look familiar, however, it might be from "Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City," which is her only notable acting role prior to "The Continental."

Musashi, on the other hand, has been around a bit longer and picked up a few more acting credits, though the vast majority of his career has been spent as a stunt performer. He also frequently does motion capture for video games like "The Last of Us," "Batman: Arkham Knight," and multiple "Resident Evil" titles. You may also recognize Musashi's rather distinctive face from his brief participation in fight scenes for projects like "Mortal Kombat: Legacy," "The Debt Collector," and "The Last Witch Hunter."