Check into The Continental, the explosive prequel to the John Wick action film franchise. Named for the Wickaverse’s global hotel chain for assassins, this stylish three-part series (dropping weekly in roughly 90-minute installments) drills into the brutal 1970s-era fight to control the New York City location.
Being on set “was an adrenaline rush,” says director Albert Hughes. He’s right—every minute is blood-pumping. Young wheeler-dealer Winston Scott’s (Colin Woodell) brother Frankie (Ben Robson) steals an ancient coin press used to mint assassin-world currency so he and Vietnamese-rebel wife Yen (Nhung Kate) can start a peaceful life. The machine’s keeper, and the brothers’ former criminal mentor, power-drunk Continental manager Cormac (Mel Gibson) and his studious Nigerian assistant Charon (Ayomide Adegun) pull out all the stops to get it back.
Franchise fans know Winston and Charon as the hotel’s crime lord manager and concierge, respectively (Ian McShane and Lance Reddick in the movies). But it’s their twisty journey to the management suite—complete with astounding fight choreography, a pulsing ’70s soundtrack and deeper dives into the human psyche than the films—that’s the draw here.
“Two characters from different backgrounds are plunged into this traumatic situation and have to figure it out,” Hughes says. “[Winston] is brash and bold. Naive Charon just wants a better life and is under the influence of a psychotic sociopath.”
Devotees of the original will barely miss sympathetic hitman Wick (Keanu Reeves), a mere tot in the disco era. New characters bust down the door too, including lots of kick-ass women. NYPD detective KD (Mishel Prada) is “the heart of the story,” Hughes says, adding that she and Winston “come to this crossroads.” Before that, bullets, bombs and good old karate kicks rock the Continental to its core. With this bloody mess, they’d better tip housekeeping.
The Continental: From the World of John Wick, Series Premiere Friday, September 22, Peacock
This is an excerpt from TV Insider‘s September issue. For more in-depth, reported coverage devoted to streaming shows from the publishers of TV Guide Magazine, pick up the issue, currently on newsstands, or purchase it online here. You can also subscribe to TV Insider Magazine here now.