'John Wick' TV Series Could Feature Ian McShane

More details are coming out about who will be in The Continental, a new series set in the John Wick universe — specifically, a returning character from the film franchise: Ian McShane's Winston.

Carmi Zlotnick, President of Original Programming for Starz, told /Films that it's possible McShane, whose character is a manager at the show's titular hotel for assassins, will appear in the series.

"There are certainly conversations about having Ian McShane back," Zlotnick said. "The good part is we have some sort of insight into his schedule because of our involvement in American Gods. We're in conversations with Ian."

Fans wishing for McShane to star in the series shouldn't get their hopes up, as Zlotnick also said the main character of The Continental will be a new one.

"He won't be an assassin at the very beginning," Zlotnick said. "I don't want to give too much about the story away, but it's somebody who is new to the world. His origin story, when you go back to the beginning, unknown to him, has some ties to the world."

John Wick fans will be pleased to see the history of the film franchise will help shape The Continental's story line.

"I think the story will be told present day, but a lot of the present day drama will be informed by what happened in the past," Zlotnick said

The Continental will be an hour long drama. Zlotnick expects to produce eight episodes for the first season.

"Usually we think about eight episodes for a first season," he said. "Usually trying to do more can be a bridge too far, but we're discussing it. I think it's always got to fit the needs of the story as well."

And just like John Wick, viewers can expect an action-packed hour every week.

"Yeah, this is an action show," Zlotnick said. "[Director] Chad [Stahelski]'s involved, we expect that whole gun fu aspect to it. That's the nature of the franchise."

"I think the timeline for this show runs parallel with the timelines of the movies," Zlotnick said. "So they're contemporaneous but they're separate. These are separate characters, separate stories. It's set in the John Wick world."

Starz announced development on the project on Friday in conjunction with Lionsgate. While it was originally reported that film franchise star Keanu Reeves will not star in the series, word came from the TCA panel that he will likely make an appearance on the show.

Set in a hyper-real version of Los Angeles, the series maintains the urgency of the action along with the dry humor from the John Wick movies, producers say. The John Wick universe will expand in the series by focusing on the Continental Hotel and the assassins who find refuge under its roof.

A series adaptation of the John Wick franchise had been eyed for some time, with Stahelski teasing months ago that there was strong interest and that Lionsgate was already in early development on the project.


John Wick and its sequel film have grossed nearly $300 million at the worldwide box office and a successful virtual reality mobile game. The third feature film, with Reeves starring, is due in 2019.

"This series is truly unlike anything else on TV," said Chris Albrecht, Starz president and CEO. "The Continental promises to include the thunderous fight sequences and intensely staged shootouts between professional assassins and their targets that fans have come to expect in the John Wick movie franchise as well as introducing some new, darkly compelling characters who inhabit this underground world."