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The Continental: John Wick prequel event series taps The Book of Eli's Albert Hughes to direct

By Vanessa Armstrong
John Wick - Keanu Reeves and dog

In case you forgot, the John Wick franchise has a limited series TV prequel in the works. And now that prequel has found one of its directors.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Albert Hughes — who co-directed the films The Book of Eli and From Hell with his twin brother, Allen — has been tapped to direct the first and third episode of the three-part John Wick "event series." 

The Continental takes place takes place 40 years before the events of the first Lionsgate film on the unsavory streets of 1970s New York City. The story will follow Winston, a young version of Ian McShane's character in the movies ,who runs the assassin-friendly hotel.

The spinoff has been in development since at least 2019, and was first supposed to be a regular television series. It has since turned into a three-part limited series, where each installment is movie-length and has movie-sized budgets of $20 million. It will ultimately air on Starz.  

Other than Hughes joining the project — which Lionsgate has not confirmed — we know very little about The Continental. (SYFY WIRE has reached out to the studio for comment but has not heard back at the time of this writing.) We do know, however, that many from the John Wick films are part of the endeavor. Executive producers for the limited series include Hughes, original Wick screenwriter Derek Kolstad, franchise director Chad Stahelski, and David Leitch.

No news yet on when The Continental will go into production or who will join the cast. The development of the limited series, however, shows how Lionsgate is looking to grow the John Wick universe. To that end, John Wick 4 is still moving forward and has built out its cast with skilled actors and fighters like Donnie Yen.

Unless things change, John Wick 4 is set to come out May 27, 2022. We don’t know whether The Continental will come out before or after the fourth film, but given it takes place in the past, it likely won’t have a direct impact on the events in the upcoming movie.

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