The 'Continental' experience: John Wick franchise gets three-night TV stay

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Dana Simpson / TV Media
Colin Woodell in “The Continental: From the World of John Wick”

Colin Woodell in “The Continental: From the World of John Wick”

For many of us, when we book a stay in a hotel (particularly a luxury one), comfort ranks above all else. Though the meaning of the word "comfort" varies from one person to the next and could encompass anything from the thread count of the bedsheets to one's proximity to the bar, "comfort" in the world of John Wick is most closely associated with personal safety.

Those familiar with the John Wick franchise will already be aware of The Continental's most important rule: the assassins seeking refuge within the hotel shall not conduct any "business" on the grounds. Put simply, no hits will be tolerated on the premises.

That said, NBC/Peacock is certainly hoping for a hit of its own (granted, a "hit" of a different kind) when the new miniseries "The Continental: From the World of John Wick" begins streaming Friday, Sept. 22, on Peacock.

John Wick (Keanu Reeves, "The Matrix," 1999), the trained assassin who lends his name to the franchise supported by The Continental Hotel, first made audiences fall in love with him in the 2014 film, simply titled "John Wick." Despite his former career as a hitman, Wick exhibits a soft side while taking care of a new beagle puppy in the wake of his wife's death. However, when a group of gangsters breaks into Wick's home and the puppy is targeted, Wick loses all sensitivity and comes out of retirement to avenge his furry friend.

While the first film's main plot centers on Wick's feelings of loss (and a lot of resulting violence), the three subsequent films all have their own overarching storylines — "Chapter 2" (2017) sends Wick to Italy to stop a sinister Mafia-related plot, while "Chapter 3 - Parabellum" (2019) and "Chapter 4" (2023) follow Wick as he fights to stay alive in New York and abroad with a growing bounty on his head. While the situation may change from film to film, one thing that remains a constant throughout the franchise is The Continental; and this is where Peacock's newest series comes in.

Created by Greg Coolidge ("Ride Along," 2014), Shawn Simmons ("Wayne") and Kirk Ward ("The Turkey Bowl," 2019), "The Continental: From the World of John Wick" is a three-part noir-action miniseries that focuses on the history of the mysterious hotel chain that operates as "neutral territory for members of the criminal underworld" (per IMDb).

Colin Woodell ("The Flight Attendant") stars as a young Winston Scott, the manager of The Continental's New York division and a character already known to franchise fans thanks to the work of "Deadwood" actor Ian McShane. The role of Winston is a meaty one for Woodell, filled with lots of backstory for both character and setting as the series' events dive deep into real-life New York crime history.

Mishel Prada in “The Continental: From the World of John Wick”

Mishel Prada in “The Continental: From the World of John Wick”

While the specifics of the miniseries are being kept a secret for obvious reasons, there has been word that the events take place over three nights at The Continental in the 1970s and that there is a correlation to both the Winter of Discontent and the rise of the American Mafia.

Additionally, audiences can expect to see a few familiar faces along the way; most notably that of controversial actor Mel Gibson ("Braveheart," 1995). Despite his reputation as a seemingly un-cancelable figure in Hollywood, Gibson has been signed on to portray Cormac, the gruff proprietor of the New York Continental during the 1970s. While some fans are outraged by the casting choice and admonish the decision, others approve of the selection based on Gibson's rough-around-the-edges appearance and gruff demeanor — a perfect combination to portray exactly the manager of a hotel for the world's most dangerous hitmen.

Joining Gibson and Woodell on the small screen are Nhung Kate ("The Housemaid," 2016) as Yen, Katie McGrath ("Supergirl") as the Adjudicator, Jessica Allain ("The Laundromat," 2019) as Lou, Adam Shapiro ("Never Have I Ever") as Lemmy, Jeremy Bobb ("The Knick") as Mayhew, Dan Li ("Luther: The Fallen Sun," 2023) as Orphan Master, Sallay Garnett ("Conversations with Friends") as the Concierge, Peter Greene ("Pulp Fiction," 1994) as young Uncle Charlie (portrayed later in life by "Twin Peaks" reboot actor David Patrick Kelly), and new talent Ayomide Adegun as Charon, a role made famous by beloved actor and TV personality Lance Reddick ("White House Down," 2013), who died earlier this year.

Given that The Continental has been a staple of the John Wick cinematic universe, a lot is already known about the hotel chain. For example, fans of the film series are already aware that the hotel is meant to be used as a safe haven, where no business may occur. They also know that only one currency — gold coins — is accepted at The Continental and that helping outed members is strictly forbidden. Should anyone break a sworn oath or a rule on hotel premises, they will be punished; either by excommunication or by death — awfully high stakes for a hotel stay!

Don't miss your check-in time: "The Continental: From the World of John Wick" premieres on Peacock Friday, Sept. 22. Extend your stay by tuning in the following Friday, Sept. 29, and check out Friday, Oct. 6, with the miniseries finale.