'The Continental' Plot Details: The 'John Wick' Prequel Show Will Focus On Young Winston

Ian McShane has said he will not be reprising his role as assassin hotel owner Winston in The Continental, the John Wick TV series that's been in development for years at Lionsgate and Starz. But though McShane won't be in it, his character definitely will be.

Kevin Beggs, the chairman of Lionsgate TV, has revealed that The Continental is going to be a John Wick prequel that follows a younger version of Winston in the 1970s and explores "the origins of The Continental" hotel itself. And it sounds like they're taking the BBC Sherlock approach here, with The Continental season 1 consisting of three 90-minute episodes.

Beggs spoke with Deadline about what fans can expect when the John Wick universe series eventually makes its way to the small screen.

"What we're exploring in The Continental is the young Winston and how it came to be that he and his team of confederates found their way into this hotel which we have met for the first time in the movie franchise 40 years later," he said. "That's the arena. I won't give away more than that, but Starz really leaned into this take also, and they have been great collaborators. And how we've approached this first season is as three essentially 90-minute events, which you could construe as a limited series or a limited event series." There's no casting news about who might play Young Winston yet.

He explained that Lionsgate TV fielded a lot of pitches for the project, but the creative team "from this obscure little show called Wayne that was on YouTube" blew away the brass with their idea for the show. Like Todd Phillips' Joker, The Continental will be set against the backdrop of 1970s New York City, "with a garbage strike that has piled up bags of garbage to the third floor of most brownstones, [and] the mafia muscling in on that business," Beggs said.

Several years ago, it was announced that franchise star Keanu Reeves was going to be appearing in this show. But now Beggs says that's not the case, and that because the show is a prequel, Wick "is not finding his way" into the action. Instead, Reeves is in talks to executive produce the series, and he and director Chad Stahelski "have read every draft and been enthusiastic supporters of expanding this universe in a meaningful way." Last we heard, Stahelski was attached to direct the pilot for Starz.