The Book of Eli filmmaker Albert Hughes is set to direct two of the three 90-minute episodes that will comprise Lionsgate‘s event series The Continental, which concerns the hotel at the center of the John Wick franchise.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news, The Continental was originally envisioned as a spinoff series before being reconciled as a three-night event series that will air on Starz. Each episode will be roughly 90 minutes in length and cost more than $20 million.
THR reports that Hughes will direct the first and third episodes and executive produce all three, though a director for the second installment has not yet been chosen. Chad Stahelski was originally going to direct the first episode of The Continental back when it was planned as a series. Now he’ll simply executive produce alongside David Leitch, Keanu Reeves, original screenwriter Derek Kolstad and franchise producer Basil Iwanyk of Thunder Road. They should consider hiring a female filmmaker for the series’ middle entry, given the all-male creative team on hand.
The Continental is set 40 years before the events of John Wick movies against the backdrop of New York City in the 1970s. The series is said to follow a much younger version of Winston, the character played by Ian McShane on the big screen. in the prequel, Winston is a hitman who creates a safe haven for unsavory types such as himself. McShane recently signed on to reprise the role in John Wick 4.
The John Wick franchise is one of Lionsgate‘s most important along with The Hunger Games, having grossed more than $600 million worldwide. John Wick 4 is currently in production, and a fifth film is already in the works.
Albert Hughes and his brother Allen Hughes co-directed Menace II Society, Dead Presidents and From Hell, though they now work on separate projects, with Albert having recently directed the gorgeous prehistoric adventure movie Alpha as well as the first episode of Showtime‘s The Good Lord Bird starring Ethan Hawke. He’s an interesting hire for the John Wick franchise and I like it, both for him and The Continental.