John Wick Producer Reveals ‘The Continental’ Spin-Off is a Hail Mary as No One Believed Franchise Would Work Without Keanu Reeves

John Wick star Keanu Reeves is one of the most highly acclaimed actors in Hollywood who has worked across almost all genres of movies, proving his dedication to his craft. He has been an integral part of several longest-running franchises like John Wick. The actor successfully led these intriguing film series, playing the title character starting with the 2014 action thriller John Wick. He then reprised his role in the follow-up sequels, earning critical acclaim for his power-packed performances. 

Each sequel of this action thriller series has grossed millions of dollars at the box office, making it one of the highest-grossing franchises. In 2017, a highly-anticipated John Wick spin-off series, The Continental: From the World of John Wick, was announced, and recently, during a media interaction, executive producer Basil Iwanyk revealed intriguing details about this upcoming show and shared the reason behind Reeves’ absence from it.

Basil Iwanyk on Keanu Reeves’ Absence from the Upcoming John Wick Spin-off Series

Basil IwanykBasil Iwanyk

John Wick film franchise has legions of fans worldwide thanks to Keanu Reeves and his co-star’s memorable performances, as their convincing portrayals and contributions in each of its sequels have propelled the franchise to new heights.

While the Reeves-led action thriller series has continued to captivate the imagination of audiences over the years, a prequel was announced in 2017, which will soon be available to stream online. Since the upcoming series, The Continental: From the World of John Wick, is set in the 1970s, it won’t feature The Matrix movie star.

During a recent press junket, the executive producer Basil Iwanyk told The Hollywood Reporter the reason behind the absence of The Lake House star from the show, saying,
“It’s hard to look at: OK, why does a movie or franchise work? There’s a million different ways to look at it, and you just really don’t know. Of course, there’s research and bu**shit, 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?”

Keanu Reeves as John WickKeanu Reeves as John Wick
He continued,
“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. 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.”

Basil Iwanyk claimed they wanted to explore new ideas and concepts for the show. Therefore, they went out of their comfort zone to make this highly anticipated prequel without the involvement of Keanu Reeves, who has played the title character in four films of the beloved John Wick franchise.

Keanu Reeves Shares What Intrigued Him to Play John Wick

Keanu Reeves as John WickKeanu Reeves as John Wick
On Jake’s Takes, Keanu Reeves opened up about what initially intrigued him to play the role of John Wick on the silver screen. The actor claimed he enjoyed playing characters who suffer, as he told the outlet, 

“I enjoy playing characters who suffer. I think because it makes good drama, and I feel like that’s what connects us to John Wick,” adding, “He keeps getting hit by cars, he keeps getting shot, he’s getting beat up, but he keeps trying to fight for what he wants and believes in.”
Keanu Reeves has played the title character in the four installments of the lucrative American neo-noir action thriller franchise John Wick. The actor has undoubtedly demonstrated his character so convincingly that it has earned him critical acclaim and accolades.

The Continental: From the World of John Wick will premiere on Peacock on September 22, 2023.

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