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.


1. THEY’LL BEGIN FILMING THIS YEAR.

(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.


2. YOU’VE NEVER MET THIS CONTINENTAL GUEST BEFORE.

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.


3. IT WILL VISIT MULTIPLE CITIES, INCLUDING NEW YORK.

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.”


4. THE SERIES WILL DEBUT BEFORE JOHN WICK 4.

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.”


5. KEANU REEVES IS EXPECTED TO APPEAR, BUT IAN MCSHANE WILL NOT.

(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.


6. EXPECT AT LEAST THREE SEASONS OF STORY.

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.


7. THE IDEA ONLY BEGAN AFTER JOHN WICK 2.

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.”


8. THANK LIONSGATE FOR ACQUIRING STARZ.

(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.”


9. THE CONTINENTAL RETAINS THE JOHN WICK CREATIVE TEAM.

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.


10. THE FIRST SEASON WILL BE EIGHT EPISODES.

(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

DC streaming service docudrama SXSW spanish language DGA Mary poppins boxoffice GLAAD LGBT toy story Adult Swim WGN Box Office Tubi boxing Britbox Rock unscripted 20th Century Fox mission: impossible Superheroe Ghostbusters doctor who asian-american Cannes Trophy Talk screenings Disney Plus Awards Tour spider-man cancelled TV shows GIFs CBS dogs Bravo Music women Chernobyl Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt hidden camera Pop TV Columbia Pictures halloween CBS All Access El Rey Fall TV rotten movies we love Schedule fresh casting psychological thriller E3 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina CMT Character Guide Anna Paquin Superheroes zombie Disney+ Disney Plus RT21 Tomatazos Lucasfilm USA Network ViacomCBS canceled TV shows Nickelodeon New York Comic Con Starz space stoner BBC America sag awards independent Avengers festival emmy awards BET Awards VH1 cartoon The Walt Disney Company Comedy Central Interview Crackle Spectrum Originals MSNBC name the review richard e. Grant DC Comics Sci-Fi based on movie Premiere Dates Apple TV Plus Mudbound cancelled TV series spain Women's History Month Binge Guide talk show strong female leads cancelled television Ellie Kemper Amazon Prime Video social media Action justice league First Reviews award winner directors TLC true crime sports Broadway Reality Competition nbcuniversal jamie lee curtis Vudu Sundance TV cancelled TCA science fiction monster movies jurassic park romance ITV First Look miniseries Valentine's Day serial killer TV Stephen King chucky Comic Book cinemax Lifetime Christmas movies hist animated critics movie DirecTV latino tv talk TCA 2017 Film witnail cops HBO news PlayStation YA CNN SDCC 72 Emmy Awards sitcom Western Opinion Hear Us Out politics satire VICE 2019 Esquire versus ghosts godzilla dragons Super Bowl National Geographic rotten 007 mockumentary Drama Black Mirror Teen Endgame Spring TV OWN Legendary Syfy classics 2016 Apple TV+ cooking PaleyFest IFC Marvel Television french OneApp The Arrangement festivals FXX Pet Sematary supernatural hispanic Masterpiece Logo 2017 4/20 rom-coms green book Emmy Nominations Spike Peacock kong A&E prank sequel BAFTA werewolf cats television franchise robots Holiday child's play Captain marvel Thanksgiving Quiz superman what to watch Heroines finale Turner Nat Geo spy thriller streaming adventure San Diego Comic-Con Year in Review Trivia The Walking Dead Television Academy DC Universe batman dc AMC Star Trek RT History TBS king kong Black History Month fast and furious twilight Sneak Peek composers japanese 2020 Pixar hollywood worst comedies Song of Ice and Fire 21st Century Fox popular ESPN Writers Guild of America stand-up comedy Mindy Kaling 2021 Showtime Reality period drama GoT Nominations Certified Fresh Crunchyroll theme song Paramount Plus free movies medical drama BET diversity TCM Food Network Photos 45 Netflix Christmas movies Exclusive Video Tarantino binge romantic comedy WarnerMedia book Film Festival FX Tumblr TV One Shudder X-Men The Purge universal monsters Academy Awards The Witch concert blockbusters historical drama best Animation political drama 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Calendar canceled Warner Bros. Countdown Rocketman screen actors guild Toys Amazon Studios Oscars Podcast Country travel TCA Winter 2020 Paramount Rom-Com kaiju Epix Disney Channel die hard Marvel dramedy harry potter See It Skip It Apple comic Video Games anime black TIFF Infographic YouTube cults blockbuster video on demand natural history LGBTQ Arrowverse superhero TCA Awards USA adaptation razzies technology Musicals criterion Shondaland facebook Comics on TV discovery rt archives Star Wars disaster FX on Hulu Cosplay Lifetime scorecard aliens ID Hallmark Christmas movies Holidays Winter TV CW Seed stop motion Marvel Studios movies Television Critics Association Mystery teaser slashers PBS Turner Classic Movies Extras Hulu golden globe awards E! christmas movies Discovery Channel trailers Best and Worst Comedy Sundance blaxploitation TNT elevated horror australia crime thriller thriller YouTube Red crime zombies breaking bad renewed TV shows HBO Go Rocky obituary vampires Fox Searchlight Martial Arts IFC Films Red Carpet dark ABC Signature docuseries Kids & Family a nightmare on elm street FOX Universal all-time Brie Larson TV Land james bond VOD biography archives Cartoon Network golden globes Creative Arts Emmys Mary Poppins Returns anthology films Fox News Elton John 99% HBO Max pirates of the caribbean 2015 Biopics BBC One football Mary Tyler Moore remakes Lionsgate TV renewals nfl game of thrones revenge Amazon south america deadpool 24 frames Funimation Polls and Games Ovation comic books NYCC Family psycho BBC dceu indiana jones transformers The Academy The CW police drama laika Freeform Walt Disney Pictures 71st Emmy Awards documentaries Dark Horse Comics crime drama mutant reviews Amazon Prime NBC Summer History crossover halloween tv Paramount Network Sundance Now Hallmark 2018 comics President comiccon MCU Acorn TV ratings Grammys Election toronto Horror Pride Month A24 Disney YouTube Premium singing competition Pirates game show Pop ABC reboot Christmas zero dark thirty Emmys series sequels foreign indie worst movies Watching Series joker Classic Film Disney streaming service quibi documentary ABC Family parents Awards nature APB Marathons Baby Yoda spinoff Winners Sony Pictures TruTV Set visit kids telelvision Netflix Fantasy Alien children's TV Musical Travel Channel Trailer cars SundanceTV American Society of Cinematographers scary movies spanish MTV italian venice video war