The news has prompted several John Wick fans to state that they will refuse to watch the series if Gibson is involved.
Ever since the release of the first John Wick film fronted by Keanu Reeves in 2014, the action adventure has taken audiences by storm, enthralling film fans with its high-octane action sequences and dark themes.
The second and third films came out in 2017 and 2019 respectively, while the fourth film in the series is currently set to be released in 2022.
Mel Gibson has been officially cast in the upcoming John Wick prequel television series The Continental.
According to Deadline, the Lethal Weapon veteran actor will be joining the Lionsgate Television Group project to play a character named Cormac, although little is known about him for now. The series itself will bring the audience back to New York City in the ’70s and follow a young version of the Continental’s owner Winston Scott. While he’s portrayed by Ian McShane in the movie franchise, the actor has said he won’t be reprising the role for the tv series, although he might do voiceovers.
“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,” explained Lionsgate TV Chairman, Kevin Beggs. “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 currently no release date yet for The Continental, so fans of the John Wick franchise should definitely stay tuned for more updates to come.
A prequel to the franchise is in development, taking a closer look at the hotel featured in the films that caters to John and his fellow assassins.
The show will be depicted through the eyes of a young Winston Scott, the owner of the hotel played by Ian McShane in the films, as he faces the demons of his past, Deadline reports. The publication states that Gibson is to play a character called Cormac, while there has been no word who will play the younger version of McShane’s character. Gibson has been shrouded with controversy for several years, denying last year that he once called Winona Ryder an ‘oven dodger’ amid accusations of antisemitism.
In 2006, the Mad Max actor went on an antisemitic rant against a police officer when he was pulled over for drink-driving.
Four years later, a recording emerged in which he was heard making threats towards his former partner Oksana Grigorieva.
In 2011, he told Deadline: ‘I’ve never treated anyone badly or in a discriminatory way based on their gender, race, religion or sexuality – period. I don’t blame some people for thinking that though, from the garbage they heard on those leaked tapes, which have been edited.’
One John Wick fan expressed their disbelief over Gibson joining the cast of the series, stating on Twitter: ‘Wtf? Uncast him.’
‘I thought we CANCELLED Meh Gibson,’ someone else wrote, while another person said: ‘Keanu agreed to this?? Love John Wick movies. Won’t watch anything with Mel in it though.’ ‘A whole lotta of us won’t be watching then. I can’t believe Keanu is okay with this,’ one fan said, while another added: ‘None of you can ever act like cancel culture is out here destroying lives again while Mel Gibson is still getting work.’
Someone else remarked: ‘With Mel Gibson as a part of this project, I know what John Wick chapter I will NOT be watching. I refuse to be a contributor to Gibson’s residuals.’
The John Wick spin-off The Continental is set to be released as a three-night special, produced by Starz for Lionsgate TV.
Lionsgate TV boss Kevin Beggs previously opened up about the motivation to venture into TV in the John Wick franchise, saying that ‘it just cries out to be something in TV’.
The “John Wick” prequel series at Starz, “The Continental,” has cast Colin Woodell in the lead role, Variety has learned.
Woodell will star as a young Winston Scott, the character played in the film franchise by Ian McShane. “The Continental” will explore the origin behind the titular hotel-for-assassins through the eyes and actions of Scott, who is dragged into the Hell-scape of a 1975 New York City to face a past he thought he’d left behind. Winston charts a deadly course through the New York’s mysterious underworld in a harrowing attempt to seize the iconic hotel, which serves as the meeting point for the world’s most dangerous criminals.
Woodell is now the second cast member announced for the series. It was previously announced that Mel Gibson would appear as a new character named Cormac.
Woodell most recently appeared in the critically-acclaimed HBO Max series “The Flight Attendant.” His other TV credits include “The Purge,” “The Originals,” “Masters of Sex,” and “Designated Survivor.” On the feature side, he starred in “The Call of the Wild” alongside Harrison Ford and previously appeared in projects like “Unfriended: Dark Web.”
He is repped by Management 360 and Gersh.
“The Continental,” which will air as a three-episode event series, hails from writers and executive producers Greg Coolidge and Kirk Ward, who also serve as showrunners. Chad Stahelski, Derek Kolstad, David Leitch, Shawn Simmons, Paul Wernick, and Rhett Reese all serve as executive producers with Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee of Thunder Road Pictures also executive producing.
The three “John Wick” films have collectively grossed more than $300 million at the global box office. The fourth film is currently filming with a planned release on May 27, 2022.
It's been announced via Deadline that Mel Gibson will be the star of 'John Wick' origin series 'The Continental'. To say there's been quite a reaction to the casting is putting it mildly...
In recent years, Mel Gibson's credits have included 'The Professor and the Madman', 'Dragged Across Concrete' and 'Daddy's Home 2'.
He has a number of projects currently in post-production, including 'Wake', in which he stars opposite Scott Eastwood, 'Waldo' with Morena Baccarin and Charlie Hunham, and 'Stu', which is led by Mark Wahlberg.
'The Continental' will constitute a three-night special-event TV series, produced for Starz by Lionsgate Television.
It will explore the origins of the hotel-for-assassins, which became a centerpiece in the 'John Wick' universe.
The story is told through the eyes of a young Winston Scott, who arrives in New York in 1975 to face a past he thought he’d left behind.
Winston charts a deadly course through New York’s mysterious underworld as he tries to seize the iconic hotel, which serves as the meeting point for the world’s deadliest criminals.
Mel Gibson's character is called Cormac, with no other details available yet. In the 'John Wick' trilogy, Ian McShane plays Winston Scott, but he says he won't be in 'The Continental', other than perhaps providing voicework.
Mel Gibson has been cast in The Continental, the upcoming TV series from Lionsgate TV and Starz. The Lethal Weapon star is set to play a character named Cormac, with little other information about him. The story centers on the early days of the titular hotel, which is run by Winston Scott (Ian McShane) and caters to a client base made up of assassins. It was a murder John committed in the hotel at the end of John Wick Chapter 2, which kicked off the events of the rest of the film series by alienating him from the society established in the early chapters.
Neither McShane nor John Wick title star Keanu Reeves will appear in the series, although Reeves may serve as an executive producer, and McShane is open to providing some voice over work, presumably for bookend segments or something. There is no word yet on who will play the younger version of Winston.
"It's such a successful franchise, it's on its way to its fourth and fifth installments as a movie," Lionsgate TV's Kevin Beggs told Deadline, who broke today's news. "It's got such a great mythology and such interesting style, and the gun fu approach of these incredibly poetic stunt esthetics is just out of this world, which is why the movie with Keanu Reeves - who is so amazing in everything he does but particularly compelling as John Wick in our mind - it just cries out to be something in TV. Just like the Marvel Universe and the DC Universe from a TV perspective are incredibly opportunities, and that is our superhero franchise in the family. 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. 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."