Few expected John Wick to become a franchise rich in mythology, but here we are. What started as a showcase for Keanu Reeves as an actor and stunt performer became a sprawling tale of near-mythical assassins and their secret world. It's that world Starz wants to expand in an ongoing television series.
John Wick has already proved a fertile ground for comics, and has been successful enough that Lionsgate is eyeing spinoff projects, but the TV series looks to focus on an important location from the films. Called The Continental, the show will focus on the shadowy yet classy hotel for assassins.
In the movies, the Continental Hotel is run by Winston, played by Ian McShane, and managed with stone-faced aplomb by Lance Reddick. The TV series looks to be broadening the focus to include other employees of the organization and the colorful killers who patronize the establishment.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Collins (Sons of Anarchy, Man in the High Castle) will write the pilot script, and continue as showrunner if Starz orders the project to series. Reeves is expected to make an appearance, but won't star.
"This series is truly unlike anything else on TV,” Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said during the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. “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.”
TV networks have been trying to turn every movie they can into series. Some have been hits, some not so much. The Continental is a little different. Instead of focusing on familiar characters or story beats, it's looking to take the most mysterious and intriguing part of a series, and exploring it in depth.