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John Wick Spin-Off TV Series The Continental - What We Know So Far

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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 and Julius (Franco Nero) in Rome. But the one we're most familiar with is located in New York City, run by the sophisticated and charming yet sleazy and conniving 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 figure 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. It's expected that the "John Wick" spin-off will hit the streamer sometime in 2023 (via Variety), which also happens to be the same year that "John Wick: Chapter 4" will be released in theaters.

Interestingly, "The Continental" is more of a miniseries than a TV show, consisting of three episodes. However, 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. However, at the moment, we're not sure if Peacock plans on releasing the episodes over the course of several weeks or if they're going to drop them all at once.

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 hitmen spend their downtime. According to Deadline, the miniseries will take place in 1975, when New York City was far from the pristine tourist attraction we all know and love 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 he's doing everything in his power to take control, all while grappling with his past and dealing with an assortment of colorful crooks and deadly killers.

In regards to these characters that 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." 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 the likes of Keanu Reeves showing up to play 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.

Variety also reports that Peter Greene (Zed of "Pulp Fiction" infamy) will play the cleaner Uncle Charlie (portrayed by David Patrick Kelly in the "John Wick" movies). Perhaps the most impressive — if controversial — bit of casting is Mel Gibson, who will play a character named Cormac, although we don't know much else about him yet. Rounding out the cast are Hubert Point-Du Jour, Ben Robson, Jessica Allain, Jeremy Bobb, Mishel Prada, and Nhung Kate.

Who are the showrunners of The Continental?

We all know that Winston runs the Continental hotel, but who runs the "Continental" miniseries? According to Deadline, showrunning duties belong to Greg Coolidge and Kirk Ward. Neither one 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 great pitches and strong ideas for potential action series. 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." With all that in mind, we're looking forward to seeing where they take "The Continental."

Who is directing The Continental?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, "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," according to Deadline). 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 directed 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."

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.

The first "John Wick" can be streamed for free on Tubi. Or if you want to spend some of your gold coins instead, you can find the original film for $3.99 on Apple iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, and Vudu. As for "Chapter 2," you can also stream that one on Tubi, and you can rent it for $2.99 on Amazon Video or $3.99 on Apple iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, and Vudu. As for the third installment in the series, "Parabellum" can be streamed on Tubi, and you can rent it on Apple iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, Vudu, and YouTube for $3.99.

We also expect the fourth film to hit theaters before the release of "The Continental." Prepare to check out "Chapter 4" when it releases on March 24, 2023.