While the focus of Lionsgate Studios' John Wick movies has always been the titular assassin, various clues have been scattered throughout the franchise that hint at a much larger world of assassins, complete with a secret gold coins currency system and a shadowy cabal of untouchable elites. At the center of the series' mythology is the hotel for assassins, The Continental. Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs recently explained to Deadline that the upcoming spinoff series The Continental will explore the history of the hotel all the way back to the 1970s.
"We [Lionsgate TV] were really blown away because it solved a bunch of problems and was super exciting, about a crumbling New York in the 1970s 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 which is famously within the movie franchise the assassin's hotel in which you cannot kill anyone on the hotel grounds, but of course if you step one foot off you're fair game, and that's employed to great effect in many of the plots in the movies. Running all of that is Winston"
Winston, played by Ian McShane in the movies, is the manager of The Continental, and one of the most powerful characters of the franchise. While always appearing polite and helpful, it is repeatedly made clear that Winston wields a great deal of influence in the world of assassins, capable of holding back an army of killers with a single phone call, and even standing up to the foremost authority in the series, The High Table. According to Beggs, the upcoming series will feature ninety-minute episodes that explore how Winston came to occupy such an important position in his line of work.
"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. That's the arena. I won't give away more than that, but Starz really leaned into this take also, and they have been great collaborators. And how we've approached this first season is as three essentially 90-minute events which you could construe as a limited series or a limited event series."
While the larger world of John Wick has long intrigued fans, the series is ultimately famous for its stylish action scenes. Hopefully, the show will not forget that, or we might end up getting an entire season of Winston sitting at a table drafting the "no killing on the premises" rules of The Continental, and trying to order gold coins in bulk at a discount.
There has been no release date or castings for The Continental announced yet, but John Wick: Chapter 4, directed by Chad Stahelski and starring Keanu Reeves, will arrive in theaters on May 27, 2022. This news originated at Deadline.