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Prior to the box office boom of John Wick: Chapter 2, the films director and franchise mastermind Chad Stahelski said he and screenwriting partner Derek Kolstad had plans for a TV series. Those plans are still in motion, with the project in development at Lionsgate and a new title assigned to the prequel.
IndieWire has learned that the series is being developed under the name, The Continental, and Lionsgate is very excited about the series. In a separate interview, Stahelski said the focus was expected to be the cool, Wick-ian, magical, and mysterious world of the titular hotel.
Theyve got a really good structure, Stahelski said. Its very tied to the film [in that] its about the Continentals all over the world, how certain people come into that world, and what happens in relation to those people, which is cool. I think the world is very vast, and everything Ive heard from it is very positive. [ ] Its something that studio seems very, very intent on [making] and very, very behind.
John Wick: Chapter 2 was the first to delve into the worldwide reach of The Continental, a hotel chain that serves as a respite for assassins and an access point for resources specific to the job. No business is allowed on hotel grounds, and Wick (Keanu Reeves) faces repercussions for violating that rule heading into the upcoming third film.
I like telling stories from my one characters perspective, Stahelski said. Once you put that aside with the TV show, [you can] expand to all the different characters and follow them throughout their journey. You can be with the consigliere, concierge, the sommelier you can be with all these different characters and walk through the world in different aspects; ones that Im a little limited [from exploring] by staying with my lead guy.
That being said, plans for the series include incorporating Wick into the story and putting Reeves on-screen.
I think he would make an appearance, Stahelski said. I think thats part of his thing, [But the series] isnt centered around John Wick.
Lionsgate could not confirm Reeves role in the series at this time, nor say who is writing the show Stahelski said hes a really good showrunner but the director wants to stay as involved as time allows, given that hes directing the third John Wick as well as pursuing other feature film projects.
Currently, Id like to stay involved throughout the development stage and hopefully direct a couple of episodes, he said to IndieWire
Stahelski and Reeves busy schedule also contributed to their other TV project Rain, the limited series based on Barry Eislers novel being put on the back-burner.
I think Rain is kind of on hold right now, Stahelski said. It deals with Keanus schedule. Hes a busy guy, and hes in love with the Wick franchise, so he wants to put his time and energy into that.
For us and Keanu, [John Wick] was a one-off, he added. Thats when we were developing Rain, in between [Chapter 1 and Chapter 2], and then all of a sudden everybody wanted us to do No. 2, and No. 2 did really well. So now, he kind of had to choose where to put his time, and hes kind of vested into John Wick at least for the series and No. 3 of John Wick. And if he chooses to afterwards, theres always Rain.'
Stahelski, though, remains very excited about shooting television.
Look at Battle of the Bastards,' Stahelski said of the action-packed Game of Thrones episode. As an action designer, I think thats the best battle Ive ever seen on TV. They did a great job, and they werent careless with their money. They planned it, they boarded it you watch the behind-the-scenes, [its clear] the guys did everything right.
Granted, theyre the biggest budgeted show on TV right now, but could we do something interesting with John Wick with what we have? Yeah. Id like to give it a go and prove to the TV world that you can have feature action on a TV show. It would be a nice little feather in my cap, sure, he said.
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