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‘I Wouldn’t Watch It’: John Wick’s Ian McShane Slams The Continental Prequel Series About His Character Winston

 Ian McShane as Winston in John Wick: Chapter 4.
Ian McShane as Winston in John Wick: Chapter 4.

Although the John Wick franchise was able to expand beyond the core film series prior to 2023 thanks to some video games and a tie-in comic book series from Dynamite Entertainment, last year marked its entry into the television realm. Peacock subscribers were able to watch the three-episode limited series The Continental, which explored Winston Scott’s origins in the 1970s. Colin Woodell starred as Winston in the prequel, but it turns out that Ian McShane, who plays the older Winston in the John Wick movies, is not remotely interested in watching this series.

McShane slammed The Continental while promoting his new movie American Star in an interview with MovieWeb, not mincing words by calling this John Wick tie-in project a “cash grab.” He explained his feelings about it thusly:

No, I wouldn’t watch it. I have no intentions - nobody - I don’t think Keanu watched it, neither has Chad. It had nothing to do with our movies. It’s just a question of a TV company cashing in on the series and taking the option to [air?]. They never asked us about anything so why would I be interested in seeing it? I’m afraid their arrogance in getting the show out is beyond me so I wish them well. I think it’s come and gone, hasn’t it?

Next to Keanu Reeves’ John Wick, Ian McShane has been the second most important character in the John Wick film series. As the owner of the New York branch of The Continental hotel up until John Wick: Chapter 4, he proved to be one of John’s closest allies, so of all the characters to score their own spinoff story, it’s not surprising he was the first to be picked. But as Ian McShane shared, neither he, Reeves nor director Chad Stahelski have watched The Continental, with the Deadwood alum specifically seeing it as just trying to cash in on the success of the John Wick movies, and being disappointed that he and his cohorts weren’t consulted for it.

Unlike the critical acclaim the main John Wick saga has earned, The Continental was met with mixed reviews from critics, boasting a 63% Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes and a 78% Audience Score. Between that, Ian McShane’s prior issues with the production and there not being any plans for Season 2, I don’t blame the actor for not wanting to check it out. One John Wick spinoff he doesn’t have issues with, though is Ballerina, which is slated for a July release on the 2024 movies calendar. That’s because he’s a member of Ballerina’s cast alongside Keanu Reeves and the late Lance Reddick, with the movies taking place between John Wick: Chapter 3 and Chapter 4.

Although The Continental is seemingly done for good and it’s unclear if John Wick: Chapter 5 will ever be made, more projects for the franchise beyond Ballerina are either in the works under consideration, including another live-action TV show and an anime-style series. While we wait for news on that front, read through the 2024 TV schedule to learn what new and returning shows are lined up this year.