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

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