Set long before the events of Keanu Reeves’ primary storyline, this three-part limited series focuses on the titular hotel for hitmen that serves as a safe haven for dangerous people with bloody day jobs.
In the John Wick movies, The Continental was overseen by the mysterious Winston Scott, played by Ian McShane. Here, we’ll get to glimpse Scott as a young man in 1970s New York City and chronicle his rise to power as the hotel’s proprietor and overseer of this fight-free space for assassins.
The show joins a growing array of John Wick-inspired spin-off projects which include Ballerina starring Ana de Armas.
The Continental release date
The Continental will arrive on Prime Video in the UK on Friday, 22 September, with the three feature-length episodes releasing weekly.
The Continental reviews
Wondering what the service is like at The Continental? Well, it's time to check in and the reviews have started to land online. Will fans of the John Wick universe be treated to five-star service in this hotly-tipped spin-off series or have critics been checking out early?
Well, our own write-up sets the divisive tone the series has set, explaining that the show "goes to some lengths to try and explain how Winston came to be the man we know," and while it starts out strong, pretty soon "it becomes bogged down by its plot, which is more of a slog than it ought to be given it's jam-packed with thrilling action sequences."
Thankfully, The Telegraph enjoyed its stay a little more, saying "The Continental does its best to be a mash-up of a blaxploitation movie, Hong Kong action romp and spiritual successor to the Wick blockbusters."
Meanwhile, Variety wasn't as easily impressed, explaining that ultimately, The Continental "frustrates, underwhelms and disappoints."
Read our full list of reviews below:
Yahoo TV UK: John Wick prequel proves more isn't always better (4-min read)
The Telegraph: Amazon's John Wick spin-off is fast-paced, ludicrous fun (3-min read)
IndieWire: ‘The Continental’ Review: John Wick Prequel Series Is Another Hollow Imitation (9-min read)
The Continental plot
A prequel to one of the most iconic aspects of Reeves’ John Wick movies, The Continental is said to clue us in on the chain of events that led Winston to oversee this assassin’s refuge hotel.
Across just three episodes, the show will “explore the origin” of the hotel “through the eyes and actions of a young Winston Scott, as he’s dragged into the hellscape of 1970’s New York City to face a past he thought he’d left behind”.
Read more: Will there be a John Wick 5?
It adds Winston “charts a deadly course through the hotel’s mysterious underworld in a harrowing attempt to seize the hotel where he will eventually take his future throne.”
Speaking before the SAG-AFTRA strike began, Winston star Colin Woodell said of the three-part series: "It's about 30 to 40 years prior to when the films take place.
"We have all the producers from the films, so we have them overseeing and there is a really strict continuity to honour those and the style that they have in them. But what's also wonderful is, this is the ‘70s, so it is going to be stylistically different.”
While little else is known about the show, we do know that much of its action will revolve around various guests that appear at the hotel with some action points set to real-life events, such as the Winter of Discontent and the Mafia’s rise to power in New York City.
The Continental cast
Colin Woodell will step into the shoes of a young Winston Scott, inheriting the role from the iconic big-screen star McShane. He’ll be joined by Ayomide Adegun who will play a younger version of hotel concierge Charon, a role made famous by the late Lance Reddick.
Adegun spoke about taking over the role from Reddick, sharing: "Lance Reddick’s performance definitely inspired me. I think he was a great guy and actor.
"I've tried to see it from two perspectives. I could either see it as loads of pressure on me and crumble under that, or trust that my interpretation of the character will align with Lance Reddick's portrayal of Charon.”
Meanwhile, a selection of guest stars are confirmed to appear, including Mel Gibson playing a character named Cormac.
Speaking about his character before the SAG-AFTRA strike, Gibson shared: "He's kind of like [Winston and Charon’s] mentor, or actually, mentor or tormentor, I'm not sure which.
"But he's rather a nefarious character who's like a father figure to them, and they perceive him that way when they're young, but as they grow and begin to analyse who he really is, they realise he's probably not the father figure he pretends to be.
"He's pretty selfish in his own motives, and has used them in an ill way, and I think they're burned by that and they want to get even. Rightly so."
The Mask star Peter Greene, Ben Robson, Jeremey Bobb, Katie McGrath, Ray McKinnon, Mark Musashi and Marina Mazepa will also star throughout the show’s three-episode arc.
Reeves’ John Wick will not appear in the show.
The Continental trailer
“This sacred institution wields power beyond your imagination…” so says Cormac, a ruthless kingpin played by Mel Gibson in the first full trailer for The Continental.
Taking us deep into the crime-filled underbelly of 1970s New York, this deeper look into the show introduces us to Colin Woodell’s Winston Scott, a role inherited from franchise mainstay Ian McShane.
Soundtracked by a slick selection of music from the era, the trailer lets us in on the show’s plot - one that involves Winston and his brother going up against Gibson’s crime lord and eventually attempting to take The Continental for themselves. We also get action shots - and plenty of ‘em.
Watch it below.
The first teaser trailer for The Continental dropped in early April and offered an intriguing look into a dark and shady criminal underworld, illuminated by the neon lights of New York’s mean streets.
It also boasted plenty of bullet-spewing action which, if the John Wick movies are anything to go by, it’ll no doubt be chock full of.
The Continental will be released on Prime Video on Friday, 22 September