On the first watch, “John Wick” gives viewers some of the most impressive action sequences ever caught on camera. The franchise has become synonymous with Keanu Reeves taking on entire armies by himself, and indeed, remarkable visuals. However, when crowds shuffled out of the movie theater in 2014, few realized that the first movie also laid the groundwork for the impressive worldbuilding to come.
Now, two sequels and seven years later, the “John Wick” franchise is finally making good on the fascinating universe it has created. Beyond the movies themselves, of course. Starz is producing a prequel series called “The Continental,” revolving around a central aspect of the “John Wick” franchise. Set 40 years before the action of the movies picks up, it will reportedly follow a young Winston Scott (Colin Woodell) as he lays the foundations for The Continental hotel.
Deadline recently reported a handful of actors announced as leads of the upcoming series. Nhung Kate (The Housemaid), Mishel Prada (Riverdale), Jessica Allain (The Laundromat), Ben Robson (Vikings), and Hubert Point-Du Jour (Dr. Death) are all going to be series regulars.
Oh, and did we forget to mention Mel Gibson? His role was previously announced, but it’s worth mentioning. Especially considering his involvement with the “John Wick” prequel series marks his first TV role since 2004.
Fans of “John Wick” will recognize The Continental hotel as a hub for assassin activity in the movies. On its best day, it’s a relative safe haven where contract killing is left at the door. At its worst, John Wick lays waste to the hotel grounds in a massive gunfight that could put some wars to shame.
What Can ‘John Wick’ Fans Expect from the Prequel Mini Series?
“The Continental” is technically a mini-series. According to Lionsgate TV representative Kevin Beggs, the first three installments are feature-length 90-minute films. The cost? Oh, ’round about around $20 million a pop.
“What we’re exploring in ‘The Continental’ is the young Winston. And how it came to be that he and his team of confederates found their way into this hotel which we have met for the first time in the movie franchise 40 years later,” Beggs told Deadline in April.
The fact that “The Continental” is being produced for Starz means that the creators can get away with things they couldn’t do on network TV. That’s good news for subject matter as violent as “John Wick.”
“I won’t give away more than that, but Starz really leaned into this take also, and they have been great collaborators. And how we’ve approached this first season is as three essentially 90-minute events which you could construe as a limited series or a limited event series,” Beggs continued in the interview.