As the highly anticipated Peacock series, The Continental delves deeper into the John Wick universe, executive producers Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee have opened up about the unique challenges and creative approaches they faced in the absence of the franchise’s iconic star, Keanu Reeves.
THR reports that in a recent interview, Iwanyk, who has been a part of the entire John Wick franchise, acknowledged the inherent difficulty of expanding a successful franchise without its central figure. He emphasized that while there’s research and analysis involved, there’s also a strong gut feeling that drives creative decisions.
The prequel series, set in 1970s New York City, explores the origin of the renowned hotel-for-assassins featured in the films. It follows a young Winston Scott, played by Colin Woodell, as he ultimately takes control of the clandestine establishment. The absence of Keanu Reeves as John Wick was a major departure from the franchise’s formula.
Though there were rumors that he might return after his demise in Chapter 4, this prequel series points in a direction where Keanu Reeves isn’t a part of the franchise.
The Continental ‘Exceeds Expectations’, Says EP
Lee commented on the series’ development, expressing her satisfaction with how it exceeded expectations. She highlighted the importance of having a distinctive vision, which director Albert Hughes brought to the project, along with his respect for the franchise’s core elements.
Hughes, who directed the series, described his early conversations with Chad Stahelski, the director of the John Wick films, where Stahelski encouraged him to follow his creative instincts and not duplicate what had already been done.
Beyond the creative aspects, the series has also brought below-the-line talent into the spotlight. The production held an interactive junket, offering reporters and influencers an inside look at the stunts, sound design, costume, and production elements of the show. This unique approach allows these often-unseen contributors to the filmmaking process to shine.
While the absence of Keanu Reeves presents a unique challenge, The Continental seems poised to captivate audiences with its fresh take on the John Wick universe, offering a deeper understanding of the enigmatic world of assassins.
With its rich backstory and the dedicated work of its creators, The Continental appears ready to carve out its own place in the franchise’s legacy, proving that the world of John Wick is more expansive and exciting than ever before.