‘John Wick’ prequel: Could this series on Starz be worth the price?
Prepare to dive deeper into the world of John Wick. A new series on Starz will explore the history of The Continental Hotel, the capital of the violent underworld of the John Wick universe.
The franchise has grossed $600 million and shows no signs of stopping. With a fourth & fifth installment planned it looks like we’ll have no shortage of explosive action. The next frontier for the series appears to be the small screen, and we couldn’t be thirstier to see what this series on Starz will bring. Grab your pencils and hop in your car because we’re diving in!
The Continental is going to be a three-episode series on Starz. It was originally planned as a full-season series but is now taking the form of three feature-length episodes. The series reportedly has a budget of $60 million, and John Wick director Chad Stahelski and screenwriter Derek Kolstad will serve as executive producers. Keanu Reeves is in talks to produce as well.
Albert Hughes has been announced as the director for The Continental’s first and third episodes. Hughes is known for directing Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, and The Book of Eli with his twin brother Allen Hughes. Albert Hughes made his solo directorial debut in 2018 with the prehistoric adventure film Alpha. Hughes also directed the first episode of the Starz miniseries The Good Lord Bird.
Although the series was first announced in 2019, no director has been chosen for the second episode. At a Television Critics Association event, Starz COO Jeffrey Hirsch shared early information about the project. It appears that after COVID-19 halted many productions that the John Wick prequel series is back on track.
Setting the table
The Continental will take place forty years before the events of the first John Wick film. The protagonist of the series will be a younger version of Ian McShane’s character Winston. The Starz series will explore the underground society of assassins as well as the titular Continental Hotel in the 1970s.
Because the Starz series is set long before the events of the films it is unlikely that John Wick will be back. It is early in the production process so no cast has been selected yet. It will be interesting to see who ends up filling out the cast as the series has featured some great supporting actors like Willem Dafoe, Dean Winters, Halle Berry, Common, and Ruby Rose.
In the John Wickiverse, The Continental Hotel serves as a neutral site for criminals & assassins. The hotel has a strict rule against killing on its grounds. Real-life hotels also frown on killing, however, The Continental’s punishment for such a transgression is death.
It also serves as an armory for killers. In John Wick: Chapter 2, we see the titular assassin shop for a small arsenal of guns as well as a bulletproof suit at a Continental located in Rome. The Hotel also retains cartographers who assist assassins in planning their dangerous missions.
John Wick: Chapter 4
John Wick: Chapter 4 is currently in production. The film began shooting on June 28, 2021 in Berlin and Paris. The film was set to be released in 2021, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed production. Series director Chad Stahelski is set to return.
The fourth installment will be the first without writer & creator Derek Kolstad. Kolstad scored a hit recently with Nobody. The film grossed $56 million worldwide. Critics praised the film’s action set pieces as well as the performance of Bob Odenkirk. Michael Finch and Shay Hatten will pen the script.
Keanu Reeves is returning as the eponymous hitman. Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, and Laurence Fishburne are set to reprise their characters. Rina Sawayama, Scott Adkins, Donnie Yen, Shamier Anderson, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Bill Skarsgård have joined the cast, though little is known about their roles.
Are you looking forward to this John Wick spinoff series? Who do you think should play the young version of Winston? Let us know in the comments!