This is exciting: A John Wick-inspired TV series is now officially in development at Starz.
The premium cable network is working on a show titled The Continental, which will be set in the John Wick universe with a pilot that will be shot (and shot, and shot, and shot!) by Chad Stahelski (the co-director of John Wick and the sole director of John Wick: Chapter 2).
The Continental is focused on the inner workings of the exclusive Continental Hotel which serves as a refuge for assassins. Only this version will be set in “hyper-real” Los Angeles instead of New York, like in the films.
“This series is truly unlike anything else on TV,” pledged Starz President & CEO Chris Albrecht. “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 as well as introducing some new, darkly compelling characters who inhabit this underground world.”
Writer-producer Chris Collins (Sons of Anarchy, The Wire) will write the series and serve as showrunner.
One obvious question is whether John Wick star Keanu Reeves will make an on-screen appearance (he is one of the show’s producers).
One less obvious — but potentially far more meaningful — question is whether Ian McShane will have a regular role. There’s nothing to suggest he will at this time. But in the films, McShane’s character Winston owns and runs The Continental. McShane is on another TV series right now — which would normally contractually prevent him being a regular on a second show — but that other series is American Gods which is also on Starz (and the network would presumably be more than happy to have the British actor reprise his role on this project). That’s a lot of supposition, however, and keep in mind The Continental doesn’t even have a series order yet.
The Continental seems promising, though, because, unlike some carefully negotiated TV versions of film franchises, the premise doesn’t seem too dramatically limited from what was appealing about the films in the first place. And hopefully, there won’t be a dead puppy involved.