The John Wick Universe is taking its first step to expanding outside of the film series and we have new plot and series format details.
Lionsgate TV chairman Kevin Beggs has confirmed that The Continental (John Wick Prequel Series) will focus on Winston, the owner of the Continental hotel for assassins in New York and the series will be set forty years before the events of the first film. In an interview with Deadline, Beggs also talked about the unusual format of the series in which there will be only three episodes in Season 1 and each episode’s runtime will be 90 minutes, which is previously seen in series like BBC’s Sherlock and Netflix’s Dracula.
Beggs explained the approach of Lionsgate TV to The Continental as a way of expanding their most profitable and lucrative IPs without becoming a problem for future film installments. He revealed that many pitches were presented to them before they could finalize something and then the final pitch which was chosen came from the Youtube-Premium’s Wayne series creative team.
Beggs talks about the pitch and how they accepted it in an interview:
“We [Lionsgate TV] 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”
Beggs also revealed that The Continental will be a limited series with three episodes and each of them will revolve around a specific event. As Beggs talks about it:
“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. 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.”
Well, now we know that the series will be focusing on Winston and that too 40 years ago, so the chance of Keanu Reeves swinging with guns in the series just got to zero but still there could be some fun easter eggs or an origin story for John Wick involved in the series in some way. The Continental is set to premiere on STARZ, but the release date for the series still hasn’t been revealed yet.
Let’s hope for the best.