The John Wick universe is growing. A day after announcing Mel Gibson had joined The Continental as the show's primary antagonist, new reports have surfaced suggesting Colin Woodell has closed a deal to play a young Winston, the character played by Ian McShane in the film franchise. The Starz series is a prequel to the Keanu Reeves-starring films, hence the need for a younger version of Winston, the proprietor of the eponymous hotel.
The latest reports come from Variety, which say Woodell is leading the cast of the upcoming prestige series. Woodell and Gibson will be joined by Mishel Prada (Vida), Hubert Point Du-Jour (Blindspot), Jessica Allain (Thriller), Nhung Kate (The Better Man), and Ben Robson (Vikings).
"We took a lot of pitches, and then the creative team from this obscure little show called Wayne that was on YouTube came to us with their take," Lionsgate TV boss Kevin Beggs previously said of the series.
He added, "We were really blown away because it solved a bunch of problems and was super exciting, about a crumbling New York in the 1970s with a garbage strike that has piled up bags of garbage to the third floor of most brownstones, the mafia muscling in on that business which is why in The Sopranos he's in the sanitation business, and other things that are really real as an interesting backdrop to explore the origins of The Continental which is famously within the movie franchise the assassin's hotel in which you cannot kill anyone on the hotel grounds, but of course if you step one foot off you're fair game, and that's employed to great effect in many of the plots in the movies. Running all of that is Winston, who is played by Ian McShane."
The series is being crafted as a three-episode event spread out over three nights on Starz, with each episode running around 90 minutes in length. The show will feature scripts from a writer's room led by Greg Coolidge and Kirk Ward. The scribes will join Wick director Chad Stahelski, Wick creator Derek Kolstad, David Leitch, Shawn Simmons, Paul Wernick, and Rhett Reese as executive producers. Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee from Thunder Road Pictures are also producing.
The Continental has yet to set a release date.
Cover photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic