In the latest instance illustrating the fleeting nature of cancelation in Hollywood, Mel Gibson has joined the John Wick universe. Per Deadline, he will star in The Continental, a three-night origin series airing on Starz that will center around the titular hotel for assassins.
Taking place in 1975 New York City, The Continental will explore the backstory of the John Wick centerpiece through a young Winston Scott (played by Ian McShane in the films), who takes on a harrowing attempt to seize control of the hotel after being dragged back into a world he tried to leave behind. The series has been in development dating back to 2018.
Gibson will play a character named Cormac, with details of his role being kept under wraps. Albert Hughes (Menace II Society) has been tapped as director, but there’s no news yet of who will be playing Scott.
“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,” said Lionsgate TV’s Kevin Beggs in an April interview with Deadline.
McShane previously said he won’t appear in The Continental but might do voiceover work. As for John Wick himself, Lionsgate has said Keanu Reeves likely won’t be appearing in the series but is in talks to be an executive producer.
The Continental will mark Gibson’s first TV series work since a recurring role on the ABC comedy Complete Savages. The actor has a long history of making derogatory comments about Black and Jewish people, previously making him persona non grata for the greater part of a decade in Hollywood.
In 2020, he presumably underwent renewed scrutiny when Winona Ryder shared anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks Gibson made in her presence. The comments cost him at least one film role but apparently weren’t enough for The Continental showrunners to look elsewhere. Gibson’s most recent movies include the 2020 clunkers Force of Nature and Fatman.
On the film side of the John Wick universe, Chapter 4 is currently in production with Reeves reprising his titular character. Also returning are McShane and Lance Reddick, who will be joined by new cast members Donnie Yen, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Japanese-British singer Rina Sawayama making her feature film debut. It is currently slated to arrive on May 27th, 2022.