While John Wick 4 is finally beginning shooting this summer (After a near year-long delay due to COVID-19 and Keanu Reeves' commitment to Matrix 4), Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs has shed some plot details today on the franchise's spin-off series The Continental:
“What we’re exploring in The Continental is the young Winston and how it came to be that he and his team of confederates found their way into this hotel which we have met for the first time in the movie franchise 40 years later."
This is actually different than what was originally conceived when the series was first announced. In fact, Keanu Reeves was scheduled to make an appearance in the series as John Wick, but now, for obvious reasons, as Beggs explained, that's no longer happening:
“Because we’re way back in time, way back pre-John Wick and even pre-young John Wick, that character is not finding his way into the universe.”
In the films, Winston is played by Ian McShane who runs the Continental as a safe haven for assassins. Beggs went on to explain that the idea to do the series as a prequel came from HBO’s acclaimed series The Sopranos which is being used as a blueprint. Beggs used this to describe where fans will see Winston at the beginning of the series:
“It's about a crumbling New York in the 1970's with a garbage strike that has piled up bags of garbage to the third floor of most brownstones, the mafia muscling in on that business which is why in The Sopranos he’s in the sanitation business, and other things that are really real as an interesting backdrop to explore the origins of The Continental.”
The show is currently set to air on the Starz channel. It is the first of a couple spin-offs for the franchise with director Len Wiseman (Underworld) currently set to helm a female-led spinoff film Ballerina. A fifth John Wick is also in development and is said to possibly be Reeves' last go as the titular character. Stay tuned!