Looks like serious progress is being made on a new John Wick television series revolving around….wait, it doesn’t revolve around the titular character at all, but more on that in a moment. First, the title, which is revealed as the title under which work on the show is progressing: The Continental. As any fan of John Wick knows, The Continental isn’t just the one hotel but a string of hotels around the world where weary hitman and hitwomen can rest their heads after a hard day of murdering people. Conducting “business” there is strictly forbidden. As for the plot….it doesn’t revolve around John Wick. Think of it as more like Gotham, which doesn’t revolve around Batman.
Chad Stahelski, director of the second film and upcoming director of the third John Wick, talked about what Lionsgate is developing and how it will expand on the world of the movies:
“They’ve got a really good structure. It’s very tied to the film [in that] it’s about the Continentals all over the world, how certain people come into that world, and what happens in relation to those people, which is cool. I think the world is very vast, and everything I’ve heard from it is very positive. […] It’s something that studio seems very, very intent on [making] and very, very behind.”
Stahelski also discussed the possibilities offered by television to expand on a story in ways that feature filmmaking doesn’t allow for:
“I like telling stories from my one character’s perspective. Once you put that aside with the TV show, [you can] expand to all the different characters and follow them throughout their journey. You can be with the consigliere, concierge, the sommelier — you can be with all these different characters and walk through the world in different aspects; ones that I’m a little limited [from exploring] by staying with my lead guy.”
My take: it can work, I guess but again, it’s like 24 without Bauer. Gotham works because there’s an established menagerie of characters from which to pull. The Penguin, Bane, The Riddler. Plenty of origin stories to be told without retelling Batman’s mythos. But a John Wick tv series without the only real character, and no Keanu Reeves? I remain highly skeptical.