The Continental producers didn’t know if the upcoming John Wick TV spin-off would work without Keanu Reeves.
Keanu Reeves gave just about everything he had to make the John Wick franchise the success that it is, but can it work without him? With the release of The Continental: From the World of John Wick nearly upon us, we’re about to find out, but even the producers of the series weren’t sure it was going to work without Keanu Reeves.
While speaking with THR, John Wick franchise producer Basil Iwanyk said, “It’s hard to look at: OK, why does a movie or franchise work? There’s a million different ways to look at it, and you just really don’t know. Of course, there’s research and bullshit, but it’s something in your gut. This is a prequel in the ’70s that doesn’t have Keanu and John Wick in it. Will it work?“
Iwanyk continued, “It was about the franchise and the health of the franchise and what attracts people to the franchise, as [much as] it was [about] telling a great story. We’re just kind of going and going and going and there isn’t that much time for self reflection of ‘Why is this working?’… We’re like, let’s just go forward and do things that we think are cool, and hopefully people agree. This show was the first time where we were going out of our comfort zone. And that was invigorating and exciting, but terrifying.”
“The three-part event will explore the origin behind the iconic hotel-for-assassins centerpiece of the John Wick universe through the eyes and actions of a young Winston Scott, as he’s dragged into the Hell-scape of 1970’s New York City to face a past he thought he’d left behind,” reads the official synopsis for The Continental. “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.“
So, does The Continental work without Keanu Reeves as John Wick? You’ll have to make that opinion for yourself, but our own Alex Maidy doesn’t think so. “The Continental is exactly what I feared it would be: an IP cash grab,” Maidy wrote in his review. “The truncated number of episodes made me think that The Continental would tell a propulsive and urgent story, but the bloated running times feel weak and overlong. Despite a great soundtrack of retro tracks, The Continental never justifies its existence.” You can check out the rest of Maidy’s review right here.
In addition to The Continental, there’s another John Wick spin-off on the way with Ballerina, which will star Ana de Armas as a young woman with killer skills who sets out to get revenge when hitmen kill her family. Reeves will appear in the spin-off among other John Wick supporting characters. After the enormous success of John Wick: Chapter 4, Lionsgate is in early development on a fifth chapter as well.
The Continental: From the World of John Wick will premiere on Peacock on September 22nd, followed by the release of Night 2 on September 29th and Night 3 on October 6th.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/the-continental-keanu-reeves-john-wick/