John Wick prequel series The Continental is on the move. The series is moving from Starz to NBCU streamer Peacock.
The unusual move comes more than four years after the project was first unveiled by the premium cable network. Sources have told Deadline that the three-part action event series is more of a natural fit for Peacock, which recently acquired the rights to the John Wick movies, and comes as Starz has repositioned its brand over the last few years to focus more on female skewing series such as Outlander and series that fit specific demographics such as the Power franchise.
It is not part of a wholesale move to move projects elsewhere ahead of Lionsgate’s pending deal to sell the cable network, as an announcement could come next month. Starz is not expected to have a second window.
The Continental will now launch on Peacock in 2023.
The series will explore the origin story and inner workings of the exclusive Continental Hotel, a centerpiece of the John Wick Universe which serves as a refuge for assassins.
Told from the perspective of the hotel manager, a young Winston Scott, played by Colin Woodell, who is based on Ian McShane’s character in the films, is dragged through 1975 New York to face a past he thought he’d left behind. In an attempt to seize control of the iconic hotel, which serves as a meeting point for the world’s most dangerous criminals, Winston charts a deadly course through the mysterious underworld of New York City.
Woodell stars alongside Ayomide Adegun, who will portray a young Charon, Peter Greene, who plays Uncle Charlie, Mel Gibson as Cormac, Ben Robson as Frankie, Hubert Point-Du Jour as Miles, Jessica Allain as Lou, Mishel Prada as KD and Nhung Kate as Yen.
Keanu Reeves, who stars in the movies, is not expected to star in the series.
Greg Coolidge and Kirk Ward serve as writers and showrunners on The Continental, and executive produce alongside Albert Hughes, Thunder Road Pictures’ Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee, Chad Stahelski, Derek Kolstad, David Leitch, Shawn Simmons, Paul Wernick, Rhett Reese and Marshall Persinger. Albert Hughes directs the first and third installment and Charlotte Brandstrom directs the second installment.
The deal was done by Val Boreland, EVP and Head of Content Acquisitions for NBCUniversal and Jim Packer, President of Worldwide Television and Digital Distribution for Lionsgate.
It comes ahead of the theatrical launch of John Wick: Chapter Four, which is set to be released in March 2023.
“The John Wick films have become a global phenomenon, are among the most watched titles on Peacock and we are thrilled and honored to partner with Lionsgate to extend this incredible franchise,” said Kelly Campbell, President, Peacock and Direct-to-Consumer. “We understand the value of a global franchise and Val Borelandand team knew that by bringing this special event series to Peacock and putting the full power of NBCUniversal behind it, the premiere of The Continental will be the streaming event of the year.”
“John Wick has become part of the cultural zeitgeist with a massive, passionately engaged fan base around the world,” added Lionsgate Television Group Chair Kevin Beggs. “We’re delighted to partner with Peacock to continue expanding the John Wick Universe. This agreement reflects the collaboration of our Motion Picture Group, which has grown the franchise from the beginning and was excited by the opportunity to bring it to the next level, Jim Packer and his Worldwide Television Distribution team, which found the perfect home for The Continental, and the Lionsgate Television creative group, which created a brilliant and enduring property that is one of the most highly-anticipated streaming events of 2023.”
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