If you ascribe to the mantra that you can never have too much of a good thing, the logic goes that you can never have too much John Wick. Through two movies (of at least three, with the next film coming out in 2019), John Wick has established itself as one of the best action franchises of the 21st century, combining impressive world-building with an oddly compelling, stone-faced Keanu Reeves and stunning fight choreography that puts the Jason Bourne–esque shaky cam to shame. To put it more bluntly: John Wick rules. There is a 75 percent chance that one day I will tattoo “Baba Yaga” on my body.
So even though we don’t really need a John Wick TV series in addition to a movie trilogy, the announcement that there will be one is freaking awesome. At the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, Starz said that it is moving forward with a series set in the film’s universe called The Continental. For those less fluent in Wickian terminology, The Continental is the hotel chain that serves as a refuge for the titular Wick and other assassins. It is a locale packed with intrigue and mythology, and it has a satisfyingly simple code of ethics — for example, if you kill an assassin on hotel premises, four people will simultaneously shoot you in the head by order of Ian McShane. What I’m trying to say is The Continental is the perfect place to set an action series.
In the forthcoming series, which will be helmed by showrunner Chris Collins (Sons of Anarchy, The Wire, The Man in the High Castle), the hotel in question will be based in “hyper-real” Los Angeles. While it’s a safe bet that the show will follow new, non–Keanu Reeves characters, since my man is based in New York and—spoiler alert—has been excommunicated from the hotels after shooting someone in John Wick: Chapter 2, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Reeves will make at least a cameo. However, there’s still no word on whether McShane, whose character runs New York’s Continental, will make an appearance (not for nothing: McShane is currently on another Starz show, American Gods). Regardless of the cast, though, The Continental is an enticing project that should garner Starz some serious buzz—not of the Prestige TV kind, but rather of the “Did you see that head shot?!” kind, which is still valuable.
People keep asking me if good, small-screen action is back. Yeah, I’m thinking it’s back.