Everything We Know

Everything We Know About John Wick TV Series The Continental

When does it start shooting? How does it relate to the movies? And does Keanu Reeves appear? We've got answers.

by | May 1, 2019 | Comments

(Photo by © Summit Entertainment)

The creators of John Wick never expected to have a franchise. The first film was designed to be the directorial debut of stunt and second unit directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. But audiences loved Keanu Reeves’ smooth assassin character and the world he inhabits. So not only is John Wick: Chapter Three – Parabellum, in theaters this May, but Starz is developing a whole TV series set in the John Wick world too.

The new series is called The Continental, after the hotel for assassins featured in the films. Rules at The Continental stipulate that no “work” can be done on Continental grounds (no killing!). John Wick (Reeves) broke that rule in John Wick: Chapter 2 by killing the man who forced him back into the life. John Wick: Chapter 3 will see Wick on the run and New York Continental manager Winston (Ian McShane) facing repercussions for letting him go.

All that is going on in parallel to the proposed Continental TV series. To find out more about the upcoming project, Rotten Tomatoes spoke with Stahelski about his plans for the series.

Here’s everything we know so far about The Continental.


(Photo by © Summit Entertainment)

Carmi Zlotnick, president of programming for Starz, told Rotten Tomatoes last summer that he’s seen a script for the first episode as well as a bible, which is industry lingo for the rules of the show that will guide the series.

“I’d like to be in production sometime in 2019,” Zlotnick confirmed at the time.


The John Wick films are full of colorful assassins who check in and out of The Continental, and Zlotnick said last year that the star of The Continental will be someone we’ve never met before in the films. Stahelski confirmed that “several” characters from the movie would feature in the series, but would not say whom. “There’s a whole new cast coming aboard for that and that hasn’t been seen before,” Stahelski said.

Previously, Zlotnick had said The Continental will be the origin story of how this guest becomes an assassin.


John Wick: Chapter 3 sees Wick visit international branches of The Continental. Home base is still New York. The Cocoa Exchange plays the New York Continental branch, and Stahelski said The Continental series could visit other cities.

“They have different ideas what to do with The Continental about where to base it and how many different cities would be achievable on a production schedule to go and visit,” Stahelski said. “I think the Cocoa Exchange down by Wall Street where we shoot the New York Continental, they’re not going anywhere. I think we’re good.”


The Continental has been in development for more than a year now, during which time the creative team knew John Wick 3 was coming. May’s grosses may decide whether there is a John Wick 4, but The Continental is now in a position to be the next entry in the franchise, with Stahelski directing the pilot.

“The way they’re developing and they’re trying to do it very, very quickly,” Stahelski said. “Depending on that production schedule, yes, I’d very much like to do it.”

Last year, Zlotnick said Stahelski had “a lot of great ideas about how to do action on a TV budget. We hope to live up to the mark that the movies have set for what people expect from the John Wick universe.”

Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht set high expectations for Continental action.

The Continental promises to include the thunderous fight sequences and intensely staged shootouts between professional assassins and their targets that fans have come to expect in the John Wick movie franchise,” Albrecht said. “As well as introducing some new, darkly compelling characters who inhabit this underground world.”


(Photo by © Summit Entertainment)

Reeves is an executive producer on The Continental. In 2018, Zlotnick said the plan was for Reeves’ Wick to show up at least once in the series.

“I think you can expect to see him at some point in the series,” Zlotnick said. “That is part of the ongoing conversation.”

Zlotnick also told /Film at the time that he’d also like to have Ian McShane reprise his role of Continental owner Winston. McShane stars on Starz’s American Gods, so they already have an in. But McShane told Rotten Tomatoes a few months ago that he will not appear on the series.

It’s still too early to know whether hotel manager Charon (Lance Reddick) would appear, and a network spokesperson told Rotten Tomatoes in 2018 that it was too early to say with certainty whether any specific characters or actors from the films would appear in the series.


John Wick has already generated three films and counting, and Stahelski is confident he and Leitch have ideas for multiple seasons on Starz too.

“I think we haven’t even touched on The Continental,” Stahelski said. “That would be my comment on that. I think we have at least three seasons of TV.”

If a fourth John Wick movie does indeed happen, it wouldn’t conflict with the series.

“The show and the movies exist side by side. There will be no conflict,” Albrecht said in 2018.


The creators of assumed they were focused on making movies for a while. After the success of John Wick: Chapter 2, Lionsgate and Starz presented the possibility to expand the franchise into the television realm as well.

“The studio approached us after the second movie did fairly well that they said they were interested in pursuing something like that, which we were happy to oblige,” Stahelski confirmed.

The world of The Continental seems so deep, you’d think they had a rich history mapped out before going into the films. It actually didn’t even start to ramp up until the sequel.

“When we finished the first one, we thought we’d never work again,” Stahelski said. “We were looking for day jobs. Then when we were asked to do the second one, that’s when we put the thinking caps on. We did what we wanted to and what we had in mind for the first movie. It wasn’t until developing the second film that all the thought really went into it.”


(Photo by © Summit Entertainment)

Lionsgate paid $4.4 billion for the cable network in a sale completed in December 2016. A series based on the Lionsgate film franchise is an example of synergy between the companies, and Starz couldn’t be happier.

“I think it’s important to note that that comes through our relationship with Lionsgate,” Zlotnick said in 2018. “It continues a franchise that has already generated two hit films which have grossed nearly $300 million at the worldwide box office.”


Chris Collins will write and run The Continental series for Starz, but he is backed up by executive producers from the John Wick films. The films’ producer Basil Iwanyk, director Stahelski, screenwriter Derek Kolstad, co-director Leitch, and Reeves are all executive producers.


(Photo by © Summit Entertainment)

Zlotnick had said that he he prefers eight episodes in a first season of a series.

“Usually trying to do more can be a bridge too far,” he told /Film.

Tag Cloud

Rocky The CW NYCC Sundance TV 24 frames historical drama composers Syfy Mary Tyler Moore cops zombie zero dark thirty batman CMT hist crime drama Adult Swim Television Critics Association Black Mirror Christmas TNT TIFF slashers HBO Go asian-american Holidays witnail Disney Plus BBC Amazon Britbox VH1 Winners First Reviews political drama Paramount Network Creative Arts Emmys LGBTQ Acorn TV SXSW space harry potter nature Dark Horse Comics Premiere Dates crossover Shudder documentary Marvel Studios Hulu The Arrangement First Look Winter TV AMC Year in Review Extras cinemax Election Comics on TV Turner Pride Month TCA 2017 what to watch natural history cars DC streaming service The Walking Dead franchise cults ESPN finale Biopics discovery universal monsters criterion DC Comics psycho American Society of Cinematographers anime psychological thriller miniseries comic Musical TCA book SundanceTV Amazon Studios Trivia cancelled television Pixar MTV Pirates A24 Countdown USA El Rey children's TV Brie Larson richard e. Grant ghosts Nominations Sci-Fi spain Martial Arts TruTV Classic Film comedies Oscars Fox News Marvel Vudu critics vampires ITV directors screenings reviews Polls and Games Crunchyroll GLAAD spider-man BAFTA BBC America BBC One social media Sneak Peek revenge ABC Family Mudbound Crackle CBS All Access festivals game show singing competition crime thriller CW Seed Star Wars foreign Trophy Talk comiccon RT21 Walt Disney Pictures teaser theme song reboot golden globes Lionsgate blaxploitation movies 21st Century Fox Mystery X-Men robots facebook latino Super Bowl Country dogs 20th Century Fox stand-up comedy hispanic period drama Paramount Horror Kids & Family documentaries PBS 45 dc best renewed TV shows a nightmare on elm street Academy Awards movie USA Network Tubi Binge Guide rotten movies we love Pop TV Emmy Nominations medical drama Stephen King Sundance Spring TV comics Trailer YouTube Mary Poppins Returns Avengers Tarantino Emmys Funimation BET Awards NBC YouTube Premium justice league canceled strong female leads Best and Worst politics RT History OneApp ratings Cannes cooking satire ABC Set visit PlayStation Amazon Prime Video Endgame name the review Columbia Pictures See It Skip It IFC Films Grammys television Star Trek christmas movies Comedy Central CNN Awards Tour HBO werewolf romance based on movie Family Disney streaming service dark boxoffice transformers Disney Video Games TCM Superheroe DirecTV Podcast Esquire Tumblr dceu Music animated Valentine's Day PaleyFest Chernobyl disaster Mary poppins Calendar Hallmark Christmas movies halloween doctor who Infographic child's play zombies Rocketman Women's History Month Netflix FXX Peacock cats Lifetime Christmas movies Ghostbusters video on demand true crime south america Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Drama Marvel Television Holiday Western travel Animation CBS mockumentary Apple TV Plus President Ellie Kemper Starz Film Superheroes breaking bad MSNBC Food Network FX on Hulu Marathons New York Comic Con Hear Us Out Logo WarnerMedia Interview The Purge LGBT quibi all-time YA technology Cartoon Network police drama Thanksgiving dragons science fiction Pet Sematary VOD indiana jones die hard Musicals video Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt sequel elevated horror Summer Apple TV+ Photos serial killer game of thrones aliens Sony Pictures streaming BET GoT spy thriller Toys anthology Lucasfilm E3 stoner sag awards Showtime scary movies docudrama crime 2018 Pop green book Watching Series cancelled IFC biography TV Land cancelled TV series TCA Awards sitcom mutant Disney+ Disney Plus Awards chucky MCU versus Disney Channel A&E Baby Yoda Anna Paquin National Geographic Song of Ice and Fire spinoff The Witch 2017 Captain marvel news Comedy Spectrum Originals Freeform Nickelodeon series Ovation Warner Bros. Turner Classic Movies DGA TLC binge tv talk TCA Winter 2020 Masterpiece thriller Film Festival 71st Emmy Awards Certified Fresh Mindy Kaling 2019 San Diego Comic-Con Spike joker concert unscripted Television Academy VICE TBS History romantic comedy SDCC Sundance Now Red Carpet DC Universe FOX Schedule mission: impossible Apple FX WGN Universal cancelled TV shows twilight toy story Writers Guild of America spanish language Travel Channel dramedy Discovery Channel 007 E! Shondaland Comic Book Elton John Heroines Bravo screen actors guild indie 4/20 Rock casting adventure adaptation APB war Opinion Lifetime kids Epix Rom-Com supernatural Cosplay cartoon TV renewals Nat Geo Amazon Prime 2020 2015 blockbuster GIFs 2016 Arrowverse Character Guide talk show Action independent Tomatazos HBO Max Reality award winner Fantasy Teen Hallmark Box Office free movies films sports diversity OWN Black History Month YouTube Red Quiz TV jamie lee curtis Netflix Christmas movies Fall TV canceled TV shows parents Reality Competition