John Wick fans got good news over the summer. Not only is a fourth feature film finally being made, but a whole bunch of JW universe backstory is also inbound with The Continental, a limited series that will air on Starz consisting of three feature-length prequel episodes. Now, Variety reports an old-school Hollywood name has joined the series’ cast of young actors. Action veteran and Oscar winner Mel Gibson will play the new and mononymous character, Cormac. No other details about the role have been revealed.
The Continental will be set 40 years before the first JW movie and will focus on the origins of the titular NYC criminal safe haven and the exploits of a young Winston Scott (played by Ian McShane in the movies and by Colin Woodell in the new show), “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 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.”
The information revealed so far about the series has fans wondering just what a story set in the John Wick universe will look like without John Wick (Keanu Reeves). It’s entirely possible The Continental will focus on intrigue and political maneuvering within the secret society of assassins and criminals who check into The Continental and less on the elaborate gunfights and vengeance plots that have become the hallmark of the JW films.
But let’s be honest, there are probably going to be some awesome gunfights, which begs the question: What kind of guns would a John Wick-caliber assassin be carrying in 1975? One also can’t help but wonder where Gibson’s Cormac character will fit in. He could be one of the Guild’s elite, or he could be a badass old-school killer who cut his teeth in the 1940s. Or maybe he’s the bad guy. Gibson hasn’t played the antagonist very often in his career, but he does it pretty damn well.
Variety says The Continental’s three episodes will be released back-to-back over three days, but no release date has been set. John Wick: Chapter 4, which was severely delayed by the COVID pandemic, is scheduled for a May 27, 2022 release.
Mel Gibson has been a popular actor for decades, and he’s an accomplished, oscar-winning filmmaker who took home the Best Director Academy Award for the historical epic Braveheart (1995). He also can’t seem to get fully canceled, no matter how many times social media outrage circles back around to his drunken phone messages recorded years ago, littered with anti-Semitic comments and other vile shit, or his domestic violence scandal from the early 2010s.
But there has been no fresh controversy, and his most recent directorial effort, the World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge (2016), was well-received by audiences and critics alike.
On the acting side, Gibson’s career has consisted of primarily lower-budget fare for the past decade, but he’s not in the ultra-low-budget hellhole action stars sometimes find themselves inhabiting as they get on in years (looking at you, Steven Seagal). Gibson decided to diversify himself in the 1990s, and it’s proven a smart move.
He’s been sticking to passion projects with no box-office-busting ambitions while bouncing all over the film-genre spectrum, from a cop thriller, a full-on comedy, and a couple of action films to a Robert Rodriguez grindhouse flick, a 19th-century period piece, a sci-fi movie, a couple of dark comedies, and even a heist movie. And there are some real gems in there, believe it or not.
Get the Gringo was different and a bunch of fun, Blood Father was a little undercooked but it was pretty badass, and The Expendables 3 and Daddy’s Home 2 were — fine. But the most recent movie he did, Fatman (2020), is truly something special. If you haven’t seen it, do your future self a huge favor and add it to your Christmas movie watchlist.
The movie imagines what Santa Claus would be like if he actually existed as a well-armed immortal being (who is basically a normal guy except for the whole not-dying thing) living in the modern world. It’s an excellent dark comedy that’s absolutely pitch-perfect, and it even manages to tug at the holiday heartstrings a little bit amidst the gunplay. Plus, Walt Goggins is the bad guy. See it.
As an actor, Gibson currently has seven movies either completed or in post-production. As a director, he is working on perhaps the most unlikely sequel of all time: a followup to his controversial The Passion of the Christ (2004), which depicted the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in famously gruesome and bloody detail, with the cast performing their dialog 100% in Aramaic (with subtitles).
The hilariously titled The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection is slated for a 2022 release and will reportedly focus on the events that occurred during the three days between Jesus’ crucifixion and his titular resurrection, and his subsequent Ascension.
According to IMDB, Jim Caviezel will be reprising his role as Jesus from 18 years ago. He’s been raising some eyebrows recently, specifically for reciting a weird version of Gibson’s Braveheart speech at a hardcore Q rally. Gibson and Caviezel are both executive producers on the project.