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‘The Continental’ EPs on ‘John Wick’ Spin-Off Without Keanu Reeves – The Hollywood Reporter



Whereas selling Peacock’s John Wick spinoff sequence The Continental: From the World of John Wick, govt producer Basil Iwanyk acknowledges the elephant within the room: How does one discover the John Wick universe with out the eponymous star — performed by Keanu Reeves — himself?

“It’s hard to look at: OK, why does a movie or franchise work?” Iwanyk, who’s labored on all the John Wick franchise, advised The Hollywood Reporter at a current press junket. “There’s a million different ways to look at it, and you just really don’t know. Of course, there’s research and bullshit, but it’s something in your gut. This is a prequel in the ’70s that doesn’t have Keanu and John Wick in it. Will it work?”

“It was about the franchise and the health of the franchise and what attracts people to the franchise, as [much as] it was [about] telling a great story,” he continued. “We’re just kind of going and going and going and there isn’t that much time for self reflection of ‘Why is this working?’… We’re like, let’s just go forward and do things that we think are cool, and hopefully people agree. This show was the first time where we were going out of our comfort zone. And that was invigorating and exciting, but terrifying.”

Directed by Albert Hughes, The Continental is a prequel to the John Wick movies that takes place in Seventies New York Metropolis. The present could have three elements, exploring the origin behind the long-lasting hotel-for-assassins. Following younger lodge proprietor Winston Scott (performed by Ian McShane within the franchise movies and Colin Woodell within the sequence), The Continental dives into how Winston would in the end seize the lodge to take his place on the helm of the hit man sanctuary. The sequence additionally stars Mel Gibson, Mishel Prada and Ben Robson.

“The show has far exceeded my expectations,” says govt producer Erica Lee, who additionally labored on the primary John Wick movie. “Whenever you’re making anything, I always say the ingredients can be great, but the cake can still taste like shit, right?”, including, “We were really lucky with Albert at the helm. He has a very distinctive vision and also came in as a fan of the movies and loves certain aspects of it, but also wanted to push certain thematics and things his own way.”

When Hughes first acquired the job, he didn’t hesitate to start out conversations with John Wick director Chad Stahelski. “We did a Zoom and he was excited to talk and tell me [to] basically do what you need to do that inspires you,” Hughes says of his early discussions with the director, who advised him to do his personal factor. “I was happy he said it because I don’t think I would ever want to go into any man or woman’s sandbox and duplicate what they do.”

And amid the double strike, below-the-line expertise are taking heart stage on Hollywood PR campaigns, as studios are pressured to get inventive with out actors and writers. One week earlier than the present’s premiere, reporters and influencers had been invited to The Hollywood Roosevelt lodge for a day of murderer coaching, that includes a behind-the-scenes take a look at The Continental’s stunts, sound, costume and manufacturing design. Hughes calls the occasion “refreshing to see” from Peacock.

On the interactive-style junket, motion director Larnell Stovall picked out volunteers from the viewers to study a short stunt sequence, whereas standing on a reside set impressed by the present. “We don’t normally get interviewed,” says Stovall concerning the distinctive occasion. “We get a shout out from the actors maybe every now and then… but that’s what we signed up for.” The stunt skilled hopes that this sort of publicity for below-the-line work will encourage others within the discipline.

There was additionally a fancy dress tour from designer Sarah Arthur, together with a panel with Iwanyk and Lee. Supervising sound editor Luke Gibleon gave an illustration on how the sound group enhances the immersive high quality of an motion scene. “People in my field — we do often feel like we’re unseen and unheard,” says Gibleon. “This is a chance to assist hopefully paint an image of what we do this perhaps hasn’t been shared earlier than.

“It’s like a silver lining,” provides Hughes. “It’s so wonderful to see these people get their due.”

The Continental: From the World of John Wick premieres Friday on Peacock.

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