The upcoming prequel series set in the John Wick universe will be set in the 1970s and will follow a young Winston, it was revealed this week.
In an interview with Deadline, Lionsgate TV boss Kevin Beggs explained that the spinoff series will follow “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 also revealed that the series will be composed of three 90-minute instalments, rather than taking a longer dramatic form, and additionally confirmed that Keanu Reeves (who plays the titular assassin in the movie series) will not be appearing in The Continental, but is in talks to serve as an executive producer.
Realistically, this makes total sense: if we take Wick to be the same age as Reeves, he’d be a teenager in the time the series is taking place, and there’s definitely an argument to be made that this’d be much less interesting than a Winston series.
Beggs compared the new series to the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel, in that audiences will know the world of the show, but not necessarily all of the new characters.
At this point it’s unclear whether Ian McShane will appear in the new series. The actor has played Continental owner Winston in all three films so far, and is presumed to be reprising the role in the upcoming fourth and fifth instalments.
We can safely rule out de-aging for two reasons: firstly, the tech is too expensive to be done convincingly on a TV budget; and secondly, Ian McShane is 78. As much as we’d love to see him taking down punks with that classic John Wick gun-fu, the guy’s just too old for it – though he did say the other year that he could do voiceover work for the series.
The John Wick films have gone from strength to strength since the release of the first all the way back in 2014. Following a retired assassin who’s forced to take one last job after his dog is killed, they’re known for their brutal and balletic gunplay and emphasis on practical stunts.
The third film, subtitled Parabellum, was the highest-grossing of the series by a long way, and a fourth film is scheduled for release next summer. As for The Continental, that’s currently without an air date – but given that it’s still very early in production, we probably shouldn’t expect it until after John Wick Chapter 4 next year.