Can The Continental fill the gap left by the John Wick movies or will it be a completely different beast?
What happens when the lights go out and John Wick puts away his gun? What is the network of stories that surrounds the universe of this relentless killer? Albert Hughesdirector of the long-awaited series The Continental, offers us a new perspective that promises to go beyond Keanu Reeves’ fame as John Wick.
Breaking the chains of John Wick
The John Wick universe is a Pandora’s box full of surprises and nuances that we have barely cracked. The arrival of the series on the Amazon streaming platform will allow us to unleash more of this enigmatic world, with characters and conflicts that we had never imagined. Hughes, relieved to change course after the pandemic challenges, spoke in a meeting with the press about how the series provides “pure escapism” and assured: “If I am having fun, the audience will too.”
Far from replicating the hectic pace and extreme action sequences of the John Wick films, Hughes has other plans. The serialized structure of television allows for a slower enrichment of plot and characters.. Inspired by the films of Sergio Leone, the director aims for an approach where suspense and tension build slowly before exploding into unforgettable action sequences.
Surprising recasting of Winston Scott
Who could replace Ian McShane’s iconic Scott? The task was daunting, but Hughes and his team managed to find the perfect candidate: Colin Woodell, an actor who mixes talent with a retro air reminiscent of the young McShane. “He’s a very intelligent actor with a classic movie star look,” Hughes reveals.
A different aesthetic
While we await the arrival of The Continental, it is impossible not to reflect on the impact that the John Wick saga has had on the action and thriller genre. The films starring Keanu Reeves broke ground with their focus on detailed combat choreography and an immersive story. However, one of the most intriguing aspects has always been the underground world that surrounds these professional killers. The Continental Hotel, a neutral haven for criminals in this universe, has always been surrounded by a halo of mystery.
Now, with the series, we have the opportunity to delve into the internal mechanics of this place and meet other characters who frequent it.. Although Albert Hughes promises a different tone and pace than the films, we can’t help but wonder if we will see special appearances or references to events from the action saga’s cinematic universe. It is an exciting possibility and, at the same time, an effective way to build a bridge between the two sagas, reinforcing their coherence and narrative continuity.
One would think that trying to match the films’ visual and narrative style would be the way to go. But Hughes is clear that his objective is not to copy, but to add his own stamp to the saga. “They didn’t hire me for that. There are a lot of untalented directors who could have been pushed if that’s what they wanted,” says the director, emphasizing that the project has been directed by filmmakers from the beginning.
If you are a fan of John Wick and have devoured every scene of his films, The Continental comes with the promise of a deeper immersion into a world that already has us hooked. Available to stream on Amazon starting September 22, this project looks set to become the next crown jewel of the Wick universe.