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"You Can Never Be Too Crazy": The Continental Creators Reveal John Wick Spin-Off Secrets at SDCC

The creators behind the John Wick spin-off Peacock series reveal the series' dirtiest details — literally.

By Caitlin Busch
Ayomide Ayagun as Charon in The Continental: From the World of John Wick

When the creative team behind Peacock's upcoming original series The Continental: From the World of John Wick came to San Diego Comic-Con 2023 today, they were met with a full house eager to view first-look clips and get the lowdown on the new show.

SYFY WIRE was there in the room to witness the excitement, and while we can't reveal what was teased in the three clips they came prepared with, we're ready to dig into the details the team shared.

RELATED: John Wick Spin-Off The Continental Books September Peacock Premiere Date at SDCC

Director and co-showrunner Albert Hughes has been a Wick fan since the beginning. He estimates he'd seen each movie at least three times before he ever signed on to direct the first and third episodes — that number has increased dramatically since. 

Ultimately, Hughes was hoping to "reverse engineer" the original story but knew it was important to keep the world alive through Easter eggs, intense fight choreography, and mythology. That's what the film producers and creators expected of him, at least. They tasked Hughes and his team with adding more mythology to the John Wick universe, revealing more secrets from the Continental hotel itself, and — perhaps most importantly — keeping the series grounded. 

Reshaping The Continental Hotel

Colin Woodell as Winston Scott in The Continental: From the World of John Wick

A big part of that grounding came in the form of the environment: 1970s New York City in the middle of a sanitation strike.

Production designer Drew Boughton made it a goal to really show off the real “grimy 1970s New York." In real life, the city itself was ramping up the fear as the garbage piled high due to a sanitation strike. The environment, they said, evokes Escape from New York and Taxi Driver.

"We have so much fun with garbage," Hughes teased.

Boughton was also tasked with updating the hotel itself — or, rather, looking back into its history and redesigning it for decades prior. That included reimagine well-known locations such as the the lobby, the bar, and more, and inventing entirely new locales in the hotel for the team to play in. Curious to know what the basement of the Continental looks like? You're gonna find out.

Action in The Continental

(L-R) Nhung Kate as Yen and Ben Robson as Frankie in The Continental: From the World of John Wick

Hughes was also quick to give credit to his crew, both the ones sitting on the panel with him and the ones not in attendance. Stunt coordinator Larnell Stovall in particular was a subject of much praise from the whole panel.

Stovall, Hughes said, comes from "the John Wick stunt school."

"He's been in that system for years," Hughes elaborated. "They make use of their environment [in] very creative ways that they've always choreographed since the first John Wick film." 

RELATED: The Continental: Will Peacock's John Wick Spinoff Get a Season 2? Director Muses On ‘80s Sequel

Since the three-episode series takes place over the course of what Hughes explained was likely "seven to nine days," that leaves a lot of room — literally — for the characters new and old to interact (and kick ass). Episode 3 in particular has “10 featured fight sequences,” per Stovall, which Hughes said translates to roughly "57 minutes of fight sequences," and that's just one episode.

For Stovall, it came down to the very first instructions he got: "Don't suck and don't overstay your welcome." 

And much like the characters who check into the Continental in the world of John Wick, audiences might not be staying at the hotel for long, but they're sure to have a bloody good time.

The Continental: From the World of John Wick premieres Friday, Sept. 22, only on Peacock, with parts 2 and 3 arriving on Friday, Sept. 29 and Friday, Oct. 6 respectively.

Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of San Diego Comic-Con 2023.