Keanu Reeves is not in the John Wick prequel series, The Continental. That fact has unfortunately cloaked some disappointment around the Peacock three-part event. Still, Wick completists will be interested in checking out the early days of the assassin-focused hotel, which will feature some familiar characters. Also, the series co-stars Mel Gibson as a character that we haven’t seem in the later-set films. That doesn’t bode well for his longevity, of course.
Mel portrays Cormac, who is a criminal kingpin and the hotel owner before Winston (played by Colin Woodell in the Peacock series and Ian McShane in the movies) took over. Gibson remains, of course, a controversial figure, and series director Albert Hughes believes that this reputation works in the character’s favor. In an interview, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Brian Davids expressed his take, which is that Gibson’s reputation is “a non-issue because he plays such a repulsive character.” Here’s how Hughes responded:
“Well, I call him an egalitarian. He treats everybody equally, and I’ve heard that for 40 years. He was cast because he fit what we needed. I can’t get into his personal stuff, but I had a great time with that character, let’s say. And as you’re alluding to, when people watch the show, they’ll understand.”
It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to conclude that Gibson’s character is not the most likable person, so perhaps that’s why his casting does work, and we’ll see how the public receives this series. From the synopsis:
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. 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.
The first of Peacock’s The Continental‘s three parts debuts on Sept. 22.