After the success of John Wick: Chapter 2, Starz announced plans to develop a TV series in the world of John Wick. The Continental would be set in and around the hotel chain for assassins from the films. Franchise creators Chad Stahelski, David Leitch and Derek Kolstad are involved, with Stahelski set to direct the pilot. Franchise star Keanu Reeves is an executive producer.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum opened this summer to a series high success. So much so that Lionsgate already slated John Wick 4 for May 21, 2021. Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch gave an executive session for the Television Critics Association today where /Film asked him about the status of The Continental.
John Wick 4 Comes First
The plan for The Continental is to run parallel to the Keanu Reeves films. Starz has said the show will introduce a new assassin in the world of The Continental, so it won’t conflict with any of John Wick’s adventures. However, as development still takes its time, Hirsch expects we’ll see John Wick 4 before The Continental.
“My sense is based on where we are today, the movie’s date has already been set,” Hirsch said. “We’re still in early development on the series so most likely after.”
This makes sense. With the movie franchise moving full steam ahead, the creators are necessarily focusing on keeping the quality of the film sequels high. The TV spinoff will always be there on the back burner, and we’d rather it be good than arrive sooner.
The Continental is a Prequel
This is the first I’ve heard that The Continental is intended to be a prequel. A separate offshoot in the John Wick world, yes, but a prequel that establishes the history of the hotel.
“The Continental will be way earlier in the history of the series,” Hirsch said. “So it’ll be a fresh look at the continental as the hotel and how that came into the being of John Wick. It’s way back in terms of the movies. “
How far back?
“At this point that’s too much to give away in where we’re going to set the series,” Hirsch said.
How Will Keanu Reeves Fit In?
Starz had confirmed that Reeves intends to appear on The Continental. So if it takes place before the movies, how far back can it really go and still have John Wick appear at some point? And how much is Reeves going to do to help launch the show?
“That’s a really good question that I’m not going to answer,” Hirsch teased. “No answer is as good a tease as you’re going to get.”
There is room before John Wick 1 in the John Wick story. Baba Yaga had retired, and John Wick was the story of him getting dragged back into the life. There are allusions to his impossible task, so there is John Wick history for Reeves to explore.
And Reeves seemingly doesn’t age, so he can still play younger John Wick. He could shave his beard and look younger than present John Wick. Or not. Whatever Keanu Reeves wants to do will be excellent.
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