After initially announcing it as a spinoff series to the Keanu Reeves-led John Wick films, The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Starz and Lionsgate Television are now redeveloping the long-awaited project The Continental as a three-part prequel that will center around a young version of Ian McShane’s Winston. Each installment of the event series is expected to be 90-minutes long and will premiere through the course of three consecutive nights. The outlet notes that the project will reportedly have an estimated budget of around $20 million.
In addition, Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) has officially signed on to direct two episodes of The Continental event series, which are the first and third installment. Hughes will also be serving as an executive producer on the John Wick project.
The Continental was first announced in 2017 by franchise creators Chad Stahelski and Derek Kolstad. The titular hotel was first introduced in the first installment of the John Wick films as a safe haven for assassins and has been a primary location in the film franchise.
Set 40 years before the events of the films, the upcoming prequel spinoff center around a young man named Winston, who will one day grow up to be the character played by Ian McShane in the Wick movies. In the prequel set against the backdrop of 1970s New York, fans will find a young Winston as an up-and-coming hitman hotelier who, along with others, create a haven for unsavory types.
The Continental will be executive produced by Kolstad, Stahelski, Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk, and David Leitch, with Reeves still in negotiation to executive produce. The director for the second installment hasn’t been announced yet, but Stahelski was originally attached to direct the pilot.
Production on the highly-anticipated fourth installment to the John Wick film is currently underway. John Wick: Chapter 4 will again see Keanu Reeves returning as the unstoppable hitman and is scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 27, 2022.