Work is finally about to begin on the long-awaited John Wick spinoff series The Continental, with Lionsgate Television in the midst of a major expansion effort. While production on John Wick: Chapter 4 has yet to kick off with Keanu Reeves, it now looks like the series will not feature the actor's titular assassin when it finally debuts. Instead, the series will be set in the past and will focus on the mysterious man who operates the safe-haven, Ian McShane's character Winston. While Reeves nor McShane will appear on screen in the series, they might have some involvement as a narrator.
Lionsgate TV boss Kevin Beggs revealed new details about The Continental during a recent interview with Deadline. During the discussion, he said the John Wick spinoff would be set in the 1970s and will focus on fleshing out the mythology of the franchise.
"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," said Beggs. "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 will explore Winston's rise to power and will be in a different format than what fans of a TV show would come to expect.
"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 said. "That’s the arena. 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."
Reeves continues to remain involved with the series and there is talk that he will also serve as an executive producer. Hopefully, we find out more as work on The Continental continues to move forward.