The overwhelming critical and commercial success of “John Wick: Chapter 4” has made it clear that this Lionsgate action franchise is here to stay. While there is no confirmed timeline regarding the previously announced “John Wick 5,” Keanu Reeves is gearing up to reprise his role in the upcoming Ana de Armas-led prequel film “Ballerina.” But that’s not the only “John Wick” brand extension that Lionsgate has planned.
Later this year, a three-episode prequel series titled “The Continental” will debut on Peacock. The show promises to dive into the history of the eponymous chain of hotels that cater to international assassins. In a new interview with Collider, franchise producer Erica Lee opened up about how the show plans to expand the “John Wick” mythology.
“It’s young Winston and young Lance Reddick, young Charon,” Lee said of the show, which stars Colin Woodell and Ayomide Adegun as young versions of the characters played by Ian McShane and Reddick. “The showrunners actually came, we heard a lot of pitches and we were debating whether or not we wanted to do a similar timeline of John Wick or an alternate timeline. We felt like doing a prequel, doing an alternate timeline gave us a lot of flexibility just in running parallel tracks. But also what I think people love so much about John Wick and the ‘John Wick’ world are learning about the hotels and the Easter eggs. We give so little about each character and about the hotel in each movie that I think people were really excited to learn more and dig deeper into The Continental like, what does the cleaner there look like? What is the staff like? How do you get into The Continental? How are the gold coins made? So, with this timeline and this setting, we’re allowed to do a really deep dive into that and explore a lot of that stuff.”
Lee said that the show will move at a slightly slower pace than the “John Wick” films, but will still feature its share of the franchise’s trademark action scenes.
“I think in TV, generally, it’s more character-based, but there is a lot of action in the shows,” she said. “I mean, we open with the action sequence in One. I think it’s a good balance. One and Three have an enormous amount of action. Two is a little bit more story. That’s like how it breaks out structurally, but there’s plenty of action.”