Universal and Lionsgate announce a deal to bring the much-discussed John Wick prequel television spin-off The Continental at Peacock. The 1970s origin story of the Continental Hotel, a central location for the Keanu Reeves-led action franchise, will debut exclusively on Peacock sometime in 2023 alongside the currently available John Wick trilogy. This movies, John Wick, John Wick: Chapter 2 and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, have earned $575 million worldwide on a combined budget of $110 million, with a fourth chapter opening March 24, 2023. It’s a smart “get” for the service, not just because the John Wick trilogy remains among Peacock’s most-watched films.
I don’t know if anyone cares about a three-part prequel miniseries, directed by Albert Hughes, with Charlotte Brändström directing the middle installment) featuring Colin Woodell as a younger version of Winston Scott by Ian McShane. Nonetheless, its existence will guarantee a decent amount of free media for the platform. Lionsgate raised eyebrows last October for adding Mel Gibson in a supporting role. Gibson made a handful of grindhouse actioners of varying quality (Get the Gringo, blood father, dragged across the concrete, force of nature, Boss level, last looks, etc.) that play at least some direct-to-VOD/DVD action movie demographics. Given that so many “great” streaming projects are more talked about than watched, catching one that’s guaranteed to inspire discourse online is a win.
The Continental will co-star Ayomide Adegun, who will play a younger version of Lance Reddick’s Charon. This follows but also highlights that Lionsgate and friends missed the obvious hook for a John Wick TV show. The winning pitch seemed to be an anthology show set within the Continental and centered on Riddick’s Charon playing a kind of Rod Serling/Alfred Hitchcock to various action/thriller/dark comedy tales loosely tied to the John Wick universe. I will look The Continental as it exists because I love the Hughes Brothers and because it’s my job. But I would have devoured a “Tales of the Continental” type show.
Of course, if a lot of people (compared to Peacock’s expectations) are watching this prequel miniseries, then maybe Lionsgate will give us Charon’s Path Where Charon presents as a complementary series. It would be nice if Hollywood’s insistence on turning every vaguely successful film franchise into a TV spinoff resulted in shows that looked, felt and played like actual TV shows, as opposed to “a miniseries”. which should have been a 135 minute film”. That said, The Continental is it, and it’s not like I haven’t devoured the Canadian in four parts Robocop: main guidelines movies from the early 2000s. God, I’m old.