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Ayomide Adegun portrays a young Charon standing behind the hotel’s recognizable golden doors in this image from Thunder Road Pictures.
“The Continental” will explore the backstory of some of our favorite characters from the John Wick franchise. (Image: Thunder Road Pictures)

Every movie franchise worth watching inevitably gets the prequel treatment. “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” the prequel to the Hunger Games series, for example, is slated to release in November, but the world of John Wick is the next storyline we’ll revisit back in time. These sequels can add to the original franchise in compelling ways, but sometimes things don’t work out well. We’re on the fence about this one, since it’s best to let stories end instead of milking them in a cash grab. Here’s what we know so far about “The Continental,” which is coming to Peacock on Friday, Sept. 22.

Will you watch “The Continental”? Do you have high hopes for it? Let us know in the comments! 

Keanu Reeves Isn’t Involved

A man with a cut on his cheek standing in the middle of a dance floor in this image from Thunder Road Pictures.
Let’s be real: Part of why we watch the John Wick movies is because of Keanu Reeves. (Image: Thunder Road Pictures)

Because prequels take place before the original movies, our favorite characters aren’t front and center. “The Continental” is no exception. Set in 1970s New York, the prequel will focus on how Winston Scott, the owner of the Continental hotels, came to his position as a key broker among the who’s who of the John Wick universe.

That means John Wick himself, played by our beloved Keanu Reeves, won’t be appearing — at least not significantly. That’s a problem for those of us who watch the John Wick movies mostly because of him. It’ll be interesting to see what interest “The Continental” can muster without his star power, since Reeves being out of the picture may be a dealbreaker for some viewers.

It’s in TV Format

A woman leans out of a parked car holding a camera, presumably surveilling someone in this image from Thunder Road Pictures.
The miniseries format means we’ll get more material than we would otherwise from a standard movie production. (Image: Thunder Road Pictures)

When we found out “John Wick” was getting a prequel, we naturally assumed it would be a movie — after all, that’s been the format of choice. We were surprised to learn that “The Continental” will actually be a TV miniseries. That will be key for how this installment performs. Some stories are definitely better suited to be TV series as opposed to movies — and vice versa — but it remains to be seen where this particular one falls.

The fact that “The Continental” will be a miniseries is a promising, well-received surprise. The miniseries format is hard to get wrong: It’s a great way to fully explore a storyline by breaking it up into digestible chunks instead of requiring the audience to sit for hours at a time. There’s so much mystery around the legendary hotel chain that trying to tell the story in a single movie would have been hard, at least not without either rushing the pace.

The Plot Sounds Interesting

A man acts cool while being held at gunpoint by various men encircling him in this image from Thunder Road Pictures.
We’ll finally get the dish on how the Continental Hotels and Winston Scott came to be. (Image: Thunder Road Pictures)

Another common mistake when developing prequels is centering them on inconsequential, forced storylines. Some feel like desperate attempts to latch on to a franchise, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with “The Continental.”

If you’ve seen the original movies, you know the Continental Hotels serve as neutral ground for the underworld, where assassins must play by the rules. It’s where assassins come to negotiate and are expected to behave — otherwise they risk being excommunicated. Each hotel is led by a manager who answers to the High Table, a secret council of world society that runs the game, which only adds to the allure of the place.

There’s an argument to be made that the Continental is its own character in the John Wick movies given how much respect and action it drives, which is why a prequel built entirely around it makes perfect sense. Winston Scott, as proprietor, is equally interesting. You can tell he’s seen a few things.

The Cast Looks Solid

A man standing against the gilded doors of the hotel, sporting a full white beard and a pinstripe suit while holding a pocket watch in this image from Thunder Road Pictures.
Mel Gibson plays Cormac, who runs the New York Continental during the 1970s. (Image: Thunder Road Pictures)

“The Continental” cast is composed of fresh faces, which can be hit or miss. Seeing unfamiliar faces seems appropriate for a prequel, though, since established actors may steal the scene and ruin the moment when you’re trying to buy into your favorite movie’s backstory. That’s not to say everyone working on “The Continental” is a total newbie, however.

Colin Woodell will play the younger version of Winston Scott. His previous roles as Rick Betancourt in “The Purge” and Aiden in “The Originals” have proven that he has the acting chops needed to star in the John Wick universe. Mel Gibson is also part of the adventure. Both actors are notably joined by Peter Greene, whom you might remember as Dorian Tyrell in “The Mask” and Zed in “Pulp Fiction.” Poised to play a great and twisty villain, he will definitely be shaking things up.

Charon Returns

 A man looking intently at something off camera in this image from Thunder Road Pictures.
Lance Reddick captivated audiences with his composed portrayal of Charon in the original John Wick movies. (Image: Thunder Road Pictures)

Lance Reddick, the actor who plays Charon in the John Wick movies, unexpectedly passed away earlier this year. His death dealt a huge blow to the franchise since he’s one of the most noteworthy supporting actors. More than just being Winston’s right-hand man, he’s the face of the Continental itself as its manager and concierge.

“The Continental” may be the only place we can continue to see Charon on our screens. The miniseries features a younger version of Charon played by Ayomide Adegun. Unless his character is portrayed by AI, we likely won’t see Charon in any future John Wick installments.

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