– Expected to launch on Peacock in 2023
– Prequel series to John Wick film franchise
– First season comprises three 90-minute episodes
– Focuses on young version of Ian McShane’s Winston
– Thought to be set in the 9170s
– Chris Collins acts as showrunner
– Keanu Reeves among show’s executive producers
The Continental hotel will soon re-open its doors to fans of the fan favorite John Wick film series. The franchise, which stars beloved actor Keanu Reeves as the iconic assassin thrust out of retirement seeking vengeance, was only meant to be one film. Yet, the John Wick universe now boasts three chapters, with two more on the way. Not only that, but we’re also getting a John Wick prequel TV series, tentatively titled The Continental, which is coming to Peacock, NBC Universal’s streaming platform.
The Continental is a franchise staple; a chain of hotels around the world that offer a neutral territory for members of the criminal underworld, such as assassins like Wick, to do business or hide from the authorities. If you stay at The Continental, you have to play by the rules. Although, we know the man himself didn’t follow them in John Wick Chapter 2 – but let’s not get into that right now.
Below, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about The Continental, including its possible release date, cast, plot details, and more. Major spoilers incoming for the John Wick franchise, so turn back if you’re not caught up on the three films.
The Continental release date
There’s no official release date for The Continental yet. However, the long-awaited TV series has been confirmed for release on Peacock in 2023. The series is also set to launch on Prime Video in non-US regions (per Deadline) apart from Israel and the Middle East.
The show has been in the works since 2018 when Starz excited fans by announcing its existence. Now, though, The Continental has found a new home on Peacock – Lionsgate selling the rights to that streamer after it felt Starz wasn’t the right fit.
According to Deadline, the show’s arrival follow the theatrical launch of John Wick: Chapter Four. If that’s true, The Continental will launch on Peacock in mid- to late 2023. Additionally, The Continental will comprise three 90-minute long episodes, so view it as a limited series, rather than a full blown TV show for now.
The Continental cast
Here’s the confirmed cast for The Continental so far:
- Colin Woodell as young Winston Scott
- Peter Greene as young Uncle Charlie
- Mel Gibson as Cormac
- Nhung Kate as Yen
- Katie McGrath as The Adjudicator
- Jessica Allain as Lou
- Jeremy Bobb as Mayhew
- Adam Shapiro as Lemmy
- Ayomide Adegun as Charon
- Claire Cooper as Mrs. Davenport
- Ray McKinnon as Jenkins
- Ben Robson as Frankie
- Marina Mazepa as Gretel
- Mark Mushashi as Hansel
- Mishel Prada as KD
- Hubert Point-Du Jour as Miles
Given The Continental is a prequel, Keanu Reeves won’t be appearing in the small-screen series. So, for those of you holding out hope for a John Wick cameo, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
The Continental reportedly takes place in 1975, meaning that both present day hotel owner Winston and his trusted concierge Charon will be played by younger actors, Colin Woodell and Ayomide Adegun, rather than Ian MacShane and Lance Reddick, will portray that duo.
Another of the show’s biggest announcements is the involvement of Mel Gibson who will play a character called Cormac. Gibson’s original individual isn’t someone we’ve seen in the John Wick series yet, so his role is a mysterious one right now.
When it comes to the crew behind this spin-off, the series has been created by Greg Collidge (Wayne, Ride Along) and Kirk Ward (Wayne). Executive producers include Albert Hughes, Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, Chad Stahelski, Derek Kolstad, David Leitch, Shawn Simmons, Paul Wernick, Rhett Reese, and Marshall Persinger.
Hughes will also take the directorial chair for the first and third episode, with Charlotte Brändström (The Rings of Power) helming the second.
The Continental plot
While The Continental is a prequel series, it’s also an entirely new spin-off from the usual story focusing instead on a young Winston, the owner of the New York City hotel residence. Intricacies surrounding the plot itself, though, are being firmly kept under lock and key.
In an interview with Deadline, Lionsgate TV chairman Kevin Beggs opened up on some story details, saying: “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.”
The Continental is the centrepiece for the John Wick universe, providing a place of solace for those under the orders of the High Table. According to the show’s description, the series follows Winston as he “charts a deadly course through New York’s mysterious underworld in a harrowing attempt to seize the iconic hotel”. Sounds ominous.
Interestingly, The Continental will explore real-world events, including the Great Garbage Strike and the rise of the American Mafia. Despite being a work of fiction, then, it seems the series will draw heavily from, or be inspired by, true events.
Speaking to Fandom in 2020, Chad Stahelski, stuntman turned director on the John Wick franchise, said: “The angles they’re working on The Continental TV show right now is a different perspective on the whole world. It’s coming at it from different characters’ point of views and what the breadth of the world is actually. Whereas in John Wick, I’m following one time period, literally almost a week in the life of one man, where everything spirals out of control.”
What’s clear is that a whole new cast will be taking the John Wick story in a whole new direction – we just don’t know the ins and outs of what that’ll be. Given its position in the timeline, as well as the alternative focus on one of John Wick’s most famed side characters, aka Winston, deserving of a storyline in his own right, we’re sure it’ll be a thrill ride all the same.
The Contiental trailer
There’s no official trailer for The Continental. However, considering its 2023 launch date, we think that a trailer isn’t too far off. We’ll update this section once one is released.
The Continental: John Wick timeline explained
As mentioned, The Continental is a prequel set 40 years before the John Wick films we’ve come to know and love. Speaking to Deadline, Lionsgate TV’s Kevin Beggs said: “Because we’re way back in time, way back pre-John Wick and even pre-young John Wick, that character is not finding his way into the universe. We are in the John Wick universe, but it’s way back in time. Think about the Game of Thrones prequels because you know any of the players, but you do know the world.”
Given John Wick screenwriter Derek Kolstad previously revealed that Keanu’s character was initially meant to be a 75-year-old man (per Variety), we could well have seen Wick appear in some guise. However, with the character eventually written as a 35-year old, he won’t have been born by the time of the events of The Continental. So, as we said earlier, don’t expect him to feature.
Ultimately, as far as the John Wick timeline is concerned, it’s an origin story of The Continental’s deep history. It’s also an opportunity for Winston and several other characters from the franchise’s origin stories to be explored and perhaps provide a more detailed look into how their characters came to be in the John Wick mythos.
It’s unclear if future seasons will be greenlit, if The Continental will remain a miniseries, or how the TV series will tie into John Wick Chapter 4. If it’s even half as successful as the original John Wick film was, however, you can be sure Peacock will renew the prequel show for more installments.