Shooting on Chapter 4 may have only started a couple of weeks ago, but the John Wick franchise is set to get a whole lot bigger, now that prequel series The Continental has taken several massive steps forward. The show was initially announced to be in the works in the summer of 2017, and was ordered straight to series by Starz in January 2018.
Finally, more than three and a half years later, The Continental has gained some serious momentum. Not only has The Book of Eli and Alpha director Albert Hughes signed on to helm two episodes, but the entire project has now been revamped into a three-part event with each installment set to run for 90 minutes, and it’s coming armed with a budget that’s set to be upwards of $60 million, which is roughly as expensive as the first two Keanu Reeves actioners combined.
The Continental is still set to focus on a young Winston as he grows his underworld empire during the 1970s, opening up the titular hotel to New York City’s secret cabal of assassins, long before he morphed into the grizzled form of Ian McShane, who recently closed his deal to return for Chapter 4.
Longtime series writer Derek Kolstad, regular director Chad Stahelski and the first film’s co-helmer David Leitch are all listed as executive producers, with Reeves also said to be in talks to join the producorial lineup, so there’s plenty of John Wick DNA present in The Continental both on and offscreen.
Chapter 5 has already been confirmed in addition to the fourth installment and The Continental, so the Wick universe continues to expand at a rapid rate, and perhaps now secondary episodic spinoff Ballerina might end up finding a new lease of life having remained stuck in development hell for so long.