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The Continental: From The World Of John Wick Release Date, Cast, Trailer, Plot And More Details

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At the center of the "John Wick" universe, there's the Continental Hotel, a safe haven for assassins where no "business" can be conducted. There are Continentals around the globe, run by the likes of Sofia Al-Azwar (Halle Berry) in Casablanca, Shimazu Koji (Hiroyuki Sanada) in Osaka, and Julius (Franco Nero) in Rome. But the one we're most familiar with is located in New York City, run by the charming yet cunning Winston.

Played by Ian McShane, Winston is a larger-than-life figure in the "John Wick" universe, alternatively helping and butting heads with the titular assassin played by Keanu Reeves. He's a major player in the underworld, with deep connections and many secrets, but how did he rise so far up the hitman hierarchy? Well, that's exactly what we're going to find out in "The Continental," a prequel series headed for Peacock that will explore Winston's backstory. If you want to know more about this enigmatic figure and his dangerous, glitzy hotel, read on for everything we know so far about the "John Wick" spin-off show, "The Continental."

When will The Continental be released?

Originally, the prequel series "The Continental" was meant to air on Starz, but along the way, the show went a different direction, ending up on Peacock. And now, we know exactly when we can return to the notorious hotel. "The Continental" will be more of a miniseries than a TV show, consisting of three episodes. The first episode will drop on September 22, 2023, the second will release on September 29, and the finale will air on October 6.

Interestingly, these episodes are movie-length (around 90 minutes apiece) and reportedly have feature-length budgets, with The Hollywood Reporter saying each installment costs over $20 million. In other words, it sounds like these episodes will be on par with the actual "John Wick" movies, at least when it comes to the visuals. 

In addition to the release dates, we also know how these episodes will play out when it comes to balancing the human drama with the "Wick"-level action. In her conversation with Collider, producer Erica Lee revealed, "[Episodes] 1 and 3 have an enormous amount of action — 2 is a little bit more story. That's like how it breaks out structurally, but there's plenty of action."

What is the plot of The Continental?

As you can probably guess based on the show's title, this "John Wick" spin-off series will focus on the infamous hotel where assassins spend their downtime. The miniseries will take place in 1975, when New York City was far from the pristine tourist attraction we all know today. (Think "Taxi Driver," which was actually filmed in 1975.) 

In this chaotic and dangerous world, we'll meet a much younger version of Winston, the character played by Ian McShane in the films. He's not yet in charge of the Continental, but according to the official plot synopsis, we'll watch him as he "charts a deadly course through the hotel's mysterious underworld in a harrowing attempt to seize the hotel where he will eventually take his future throne."

In regards to the characters Winston will encounter, Chad Stahelski (who directed all four "John Wick" films and is producing "The Continental") promised the show will delve deeper into the underworld and its various denizens. Speaking with Fandom, Stahelski said, "['The Continental'] is coming at it from different characters' points of view and what the breadth of the world is actually." 

Producer Erica Lee expanded on this a bit more in her conversation with Collider, saying, "I think people were really excited to learn more and dig deeper into the Continental like, what does the cleaner there look like? What is the staff like? How do you get into the Continental? How are the gold coins made? So, with this timeline and this setting, we're allowed to do a really deep dive into that and explore a lot of that stuff."

So if the worldbuilding is one of your favorite elements of the "John Wick" franchise, it looks like you're going to get plenty of it here.

Who is starring in The Continental?

At this point in time, we aren't sure if any "John Wick" actors will be appearing in "The Continental." According to Deadline, original Winston actor Ian McShane has said he won't show up in the series, but we might hear him doing some voiceovers. And as the series is set in 1975, we seriously doubt that we'll see Keanu Reeves playing a younger John Wick.

However, "The Continental" does indeed boast an impressive cast. Colin Woodell of "The Flight Attendant" will be playing the younger version of Winston, working his way through the underbelly of New York and trying to seize control of the Continental. He'll be joined by newcomer Ayomide Adegun as Charon, the Continental's dapper yet dangerous concierge.

Peter Greene (Zed of "Pulp Fiction" infamy) will play the cleaner Uncle Charlie (portrayed by David Patrick Kelly in the "John Wick" movies), and Ben Robson of "Vikings" will portray Winston's brother, Frankie. Perhaps the most impressive — and controversial — bit of casting is Mel Gibson, who will play the villainous Cormac, the proprietor of the Continental who's going to battle it out with an ambitious Winston. Rounding out the cast are Katie McGrath, Hubert Point-Du Jour, Jessica Allain, Jeremy Bobb, Mishel Prada, and Nhung Kate.

Who is writing The Continental?

We all know that Winston runs the Continental Hotel, but who runs the "Continental" miniseries? Well, writing duties belong to Greg Coolidge, Kirk Ward, and Shawn Simmons. None of these "Continental" writers/executive producers are household names, so what they have done before?

Well, Coolidge co-created Nickelodeon's action-comedy shows "The Troop," penned the scripts for comedies "Ride Along" and "Employee of the Month," and wrote and directed "The Turkey Bowl," a football comedy starring Matt Jones of "Breaking Bad" and Ryan Hansen of "Veronica Mars." As for Ward, he co-wrote "The Turkey Bowl" along with Coolidge. Ward has also acted in quite a few films, including big titles such as "Forrest Gump," "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me," "The Island," and "Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny."

Interestingly, in 2015, Coolidge and Ward were both attached to an "Expendables" TV series (which still hasn't been made), so they must have some really strong ideas when it comes to action. Plus, both men worked on the action-comedy series "Wayne", which has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 100% and was declared "the most thoughtfully violent series you'll see all year." As for Shawn Simmons, he's the one who created the aforementioned "Wayne." With all that in mind, we're looking forward to seeing where they take "The Continental."

Who is directing The Continental?

"The Continental" will feature quite a few "John Wick" pioneers behind the scenes. For example, Chad Stahelski is producing, along with Derek Kolstad (who penned the first three films). However, when it comes to who's directing the series, it's all newcomers to the franchise, who will no doubt take the show in some very exciting directions.

Albert Hughes will be directing the first and third episode (titled "Night One" and "Night Three"). Along with his brother Allen, Hughes directed one of the most underrated action flicks in recent memory — the post-apocalyptic Denzel Washington thriller "The Book of Eli." As for "Night Two," that will be directed by Charlotte Brändström, who's helmed episodes for both "The Witcher" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power."

With these two talented directors bringing their action expertise to the series, we have no doubt that we'll be enjoying our stay at "The Continental."

Is there a trailer for The Continental?

Set to Earth, Wind & Fire's "Shining Star," the official trailer for "The Continental" plunges us into a world of suave criminals and sword-wielding assassins. Right off the bat, we see that even though he's several decades younger, Winston is still the same old sophisticated scoundrel. He'd rather finish his drink before making love, and when he's insulted for wearing an ascot, he simply points out that it's actually a cravat. The man is unflappable, even with an army of killers coming his way.

As it turns out, Winston's brother is a crook with some serious John Wick fighting skills. Unfortunately, he's stolen something extremely valuable and has gotten on the wrong side of Cormac, the current proprietor of the Continental. Now, Winston has been given an ultimatum — bring in his brother or face Cormac and his killers. Of course, no one gives Winston an ultimatum and gets away with it. Unwilling to surrender his sibling and armed with his own big plans, Winston assembles a rag-tag team to face the Continental and all the psycho killers inside.

And there are quite a few murderers ready for action, wielding assault rifles, katanas, and machetes. "We need guns," Winston says, paying homage to his infamous future friend, "lots of guns." It's an all-out war, with Winston coming for the deadliest hotel in New York City. The result is one full of roof-top battles, 1970s style, and incredibly cool worldbuilding. Can you dig it? We definitely can.

Will there be a second season of The Continental?

We haven't even seen the first season of "The Continental," and we're already psyched to watch a potential Season 2. But will we be checking in for a second stay? When talking about the show with IGN, director Albert Hughes expressed interest in the further adventures of young Winston. With the first season being set in the '70s, he wants a second season to take place in the 1980s. And when it comes to more episodes, for Hughes, it's all about the music.

See, music is super important to the director. The folks behind "The Continental" developed some very cool '70s tunes for Season 1 — inspired by the likes of disco, funk, and classic rock. So when it comes to Season 2, Hughes told IGN, "I'm thinking music first. And thinking about the second British invasion of music, and 1984 was a big year. And so we just have these moments where we dream, whether or not there's going to be a second season. Who knows whether I'm going to be invited back or [showrunner Kirk Ward's] going to be? Who knows? But we just geek out over the '80s, and we actually have a plan for what would happen in the '80s. So that's exciting."

Where to watch previous John Wick movies

"The Continental" will take place decades before the death of John Wick's dog, his subsequent revenge spree, and his dealings with the High Table. However, even though it's set in the '70s, the series is probably banking on the fact that you're familiar with Winston, Charon, their glorious hotel, and the secretive world of top-level assassins. If you need to refresh your memory on the intricacies of this world (or if you're wanting to visit the world of the Continental for the very first time), then perhaps you should check out the previous three "John Wick" films.

If you want to part with some of your gold coins, the first "John Wick" can be rented for $3.99 on Apple iTunes, Prime Video, Google Play, YouTube, and Vudu. As for "Chapter 2," you can also find it for $3.99 on Prime VideoApple iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, and Vudu. When it comes to the third installment in the series, "Parabellum" can be rented for $3.99 on Apple iTunes, Prime Video, Google Play, Vudu, and YouTube. Lastly, you can rent "John Wick: Chapter 4" for $5.99 on Prime Video, VuduGoogle Play, YouTube, and Apple TV.