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We've been hearing about a John Wick TV show for three years now, even before Keanu Reeves' John Wick: Chapter 2 hit theaters. Now we're not quite one year out from the success of John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, and Lionsgate is currently working on John Wick 4. What about the spinoff TV series? Well, we finally have an idea when The Continental will premiere on Starz.
The Continental is going to be a prequel series set before the John Wick films -- and it will also reportedly be set at the Los Angeles-based Continental Hotel, as opposed to the New York City hotel of the movies. Hopefully it delves deep into the mythology of the John Wick franchise, from the Continental hotels and High Table to the intricate (but still charmingly old school) underground circuit.
And now we know The Continental spinoff series is waiting until after John Wick 4 to show up. That's the word per Starz President and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch from the TCA winter press tour:
I had a meeting on a season pitch for this yesterday. We like the group of writers, and we’re trying to get it in the right place so it doesn’t interfere with the motion picture. It will air sometime after the fourth movie.
John Wick 4 already has a release date of May 21, 2021, so the TV show we've been waiting for since 2017 won't show up until at least summer 2021.
How much should we read into the wait time? Are they holding The Continental until after John Wick 4 because the fourth movie will have some pertinent information? Will there be a direct tie-in from Keanu Reeves' fourth movie to the TV show? Or do they just not have the resources to do both, so they just want to focus on getting the next film right before jumping in with the spinoff? Don't forget that the John Wick franchise also has that Ballerina spinoff film in the works.
We already heard Keanu Reeves would have a cameo in The Continental TV series, but it doesn't sound like John Wick will be a main character. Ian McShane, who plays NYC Continental Hotel owner Winston, said he was willing to do a voiceover for The Continental TV show, but he wouldn't be the star either.
John Wick director Chad Stahelski is said to be directing the premiere episode of The Continental, whenever production starts up. As far as we know, per Deadline, Chris Collins will be the showrunner. Here's the early synopsis Starz put out for The Continental in 2018:
[Chris] Collins expands the universe in the series by focusing on the Continental Hotel and those who find refuge under its roof. Set in a hyper-real version of Los Angeles, the series maintains the urgency of the action along with the dry humor from the John Wick movies.
Here's what former Starz CEO Chris Albrecht also said of The Continental in January 2018, per Deadline:
This series is truly unlike anything else on TV. The Continental promises to include the thunderous fight sequences and intensely staged shootouts between professional assassins and their targets that fans have come to expect in the John Wick movie franchise as well as introducing some new, darkly compelling characters who inhabit this underground world.
Last we heard, Keanu Reeves might have a scheduling problem this year between filming for The Matrix 4 and John Wick 4. If that's the case -- if -- I do hope John Wick: Chapter 4's release date isn't pushed back. That would presumably also push back The Continental's premiere date on Starz.