The Continental: Release date, cast and trailer for John Wick spin-off
The new prequel series stars Colin Woodell as a younger version of Ian McShane's character Winston.
Our insight into the John Wick universe is about to expand with The Continental, a prequel series that takes us deeper into the hitman's criminal underworld.
Set in 1970s New York City, The Continental: From the World of John Wick – or just The Continental for short – will explore how Winston Scott first became the proprietor of the Continental Hotel that has played such a major part in all four Wick outings so far.
"What would surprise people is just how long and how hard and how many frogs we had to kiss to get to the perfect story," executive producer Erica Lee told Collider. "It wasn't a no-brainer. We really wanted to do the world justice.
"Picking the '70s and the prequel of Winston, a beloved character, and the idea of The Continental as its own character in the movie, we had only just scratched the surface.
"People would always ask, 'Well, what does it look like inside The Continental?' We always loved that world and really wanted to explore it, so that was how we came to the idea of it."
More like this
Colin Woodell stars as a young version of Winston Scott (played by Ian McShane across the movies), with Mel Gibson portraying a character named Cormac, an underworld kingpin and the hotel's current manager.
"This sacred institution wields power beyond your imagination," Cormac says to Scott in the trailer.
"Your brother took something from me... Find him, because if you don't, I'll bring the weight of this whole institution down on you both."
So, when exactly is The Continental arriving? Read on for everything you need to know.
The Continental release date: When does it air?
The three-part series debuts on Prime Video in the UK on Friday 22nd September at 1pm.
The second episode will arrive on Friday 29th September and the third on Friday 6th October.
It airs on Peacock in the US.
The Continental cast: Who stars?
As the series is a prequel and set in a different time period from the John Wick films, no actors from the movies will be reprising their roles for the show – with Winston star Ian McShane previously revealing to RadioTimes.com that he had "no idea" about the series.
The role of the younger Winston will instead be played by The Purge and The Flight Attendant star Colin Woodell, while the biggest name in the cast is Mel Gibson, who takes on the role of new character Cormac.
Other stars appearing in the show include:
- Ben Robson (Animal Kingdom)
- Hubert Point-Du Jour (The Good Lord Bird)
- Jessica Allain (Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
- Mishel Prada (Riverdale)
- Nhung Kate (The Housemaid)
- Jeremy Bobb (Russian Doll)
- Katie McGrath (Merlin)
- Ray McKinnon (Sons of Anarchy)
- Adam Shapiro (Never Have I Ever)
- Marina Mazepa (Malignant)
- Mark Musashi (Infinite)
Meanwhile, Ayomide Adegun plays a younger version of Charon (the character played by the late Lance Reddick in the films).
"We go back and we establish who Winston is at the time and who Charon, his concierge, is at the time before they formed a partnership," director Albert Hughes told Entertainment Weekly.
"And there's this big group of interesting characters around that help. Or don't."
The Continental plot: What's it about?
The series serves as a prequel detailing the origins of Winston's journey to becoming the proprietor of the New York Continental during the 1970s – and exploring how he turned it into the safe haven for assassins that we know from the films.
According to an official synopsis: "The three-part event will explore the origin behind the iconic hotel-for-assassins centrepiece of the John Wick universe through the eyes and actions of a young Winston Scott, as he’s dragged into the hellscape of 1970s New York City to face a past he thought he’d left behind.
"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."
As you'd expect, there are plenty of spectacular action sequences scattered throughout to keep you entertained, including one right at the very start.
Did the creatives behind it feel any pressure in light of the high standard set by John Wick?
"This is our intro into the world of The Continental," action director Larnell Stovall told EW. "We knew that this may affect the audience's anticipation for whatever comes up in the future by how well we nail this one.
"The main thing from Albert was filming style and length. Albert is a big fan of not overstaying your welcome, because you want to leave people wanting more."
Hughes added: "That was the big thing. I didn't want to run into the problem of action fatigue. That was a constant creative ebb and flow."
The Continental trailer: Can I watch it?
As detailed above, an official trailer was released in August 2023, teasing more of the high-octane violence we're used to from the John Wick films.
Watch it below:
Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10, PLUS a £10 John Lewis and Partners voucher delivered to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.