John Wick originally started out as revenge movie about a retired hitman, by the way of Keanu Reeves, who reawakened his killer instincts after the murder of his dog, but it has since grown into a separate universe built on tons of world-building content. Unveiled earlier this year as one of the projects on the list, The Continental is now gearing up for a reworked format with director Albert Hughes at the helm.
Originally planned as a spin-off series that focuses on the fictional chain of hotels for assassins within the Wick universe, the title will instead be redeveloped into a three-night limited event series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, who first broke the news, The Continental spans three, 90-minute specials with an approximate total budget of US$20 million.
Hughes, whose past stints include The Book of Eli, has been tapped to direct the first and third episode, and will serve as executive producer of all three entries. The second episode, meanwhile, has yet to find its director.
Set 40 years before the events of the Wick series, the prequel series follows the story of deuteragonist and major John Wick – Chapter 3: Parabellum antagonist Winston in his younger days as a hitman hotelier, as well as the founding of The Continental chain in 1970s New York. The character would later become the familiar face played by Ian McShane in the mainline movies.
The upcoming work should help to tide over the wait for the fourth and fifth John Wick films, both of which are already in development. A potential movie spinoff based on Chapter 3‘s mysterious ballet troupe Ballerina is also currently in the works, though details remain scarce on this front.