The John Wick prequel series is finally taking shape.
Lionsgate has tapped Albert Hughes to direct two of the three episodes of The Continental, which will be a three night event series per The Hollywood Reporter. Hughes will also serve as executive producer of all three installments, along with Derek Kolstad, who created the John Wick franchise/Chad Stahelski, who directed all three films is also on board as an EP.
If Hughes’ name sounds familiar, that’s because he and his brother Allen co-directed Menace 2 Society, Dead Presidents, and 2010’s The Book of Eli. The two have since branched off to pursue personal interests. Allen was behind the camera for the HBO’s Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine docuseries The Defiant Ones, as well as the Marvin Gaye biopic What’s Going On. Albert meanwhile, made his solo directorial debut in 2018 with Alpha, which he also wrote.
The Continental was originally intended to be a more traditional spinoff series, with Stahelski helming the pilot episode. However, the project altered its course, allowing for each episode to run about 90 minutes on a reported budget of $20 million each. It will be set 40 years before the events in the first John Wick film, and will be centered around Winston, the character played by Ian McShane.
The three-part series will tell the story of Winston’s beginnings “as a hitman hotelier who, along with others, create a haven for unsavory types, all set against a backdrop of 1970s New York,” per THR. The Continental is the Winston-owned hotel in New York City, long considered a place of refuge for assassins in the John Wick universe, as killing of any kind is prohibited on its grounds.
Lionsgate TV boss Kevin Beggs said The Continental will air on Starz, after the fourth installment in the John Wick franchise. Meanwhile, the tentatively titled John Wick 4 is slated for a May 27, 2022 release.