'John Wick' TV Series 'The Continental' Could Feature Ian McShane's Winston [TCA 2018]

On Friday, Starz announced development on the series The Continental, a series set in the John Wick universe. After their panels, /Film spoke with Carmi Zlotnick, President of Original Programming for Starz, about additional details of the series. Since the series is set at the titular hotel for assassins, where Ian McShane's Winston is a manager, the network and producers are considering him to appear on the show.

"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."

The main character of The Continental will be a new one entering the Continental world.

"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."

Fans could tell The Continental already had a rich history when John Wick (Keanu Reeves) visited it in the first film. The series will continue moving forward, but in doing so, will reveal more of the hotel's history.

"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."

As expected, The Continental will feature the same style of action as the John Wick films.

"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."

Starz also airs Ash Vs. Evil Dead, which serves as a sequel to the films with Bruce Campbell in the lead. The Continental is a different sort of approach to expanding a film 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."

Zlotnick concluded with an anecdote about The Continental showrunner Chris Collins.

"Chris Collins was a former assistant of mine," Zlotnick said. "This comes full circle with the concept of treat your assistants well. Someday, you may be working with them or for them."