'The Continental': Albert Hughes to Direct Episodes of 'John Wick' Spin-Off, Which is Now a Three-Night Event Series

The John Wick prequel series The Continental has been redesigned, and it has also found one of its directors.

Albert Hughes, one half of the directing duo behind films like The Book of Eli and Menace II Society, is overseeing two episodes of The Continental, which has been redeveloped from a full prequel show into a three-night event. Each installment will reportedly now run around 90 minutes and get budgets north of $20 million.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news about Hughes’ involvement, as well as the rejiggered format for the show. Hughes, who also directed films like Dead Presidents and From Hell alongside his brother Allen, went solo several years ago, and has directed the Kodi Smit-McPhee movie Alpha and an episode of Showtime’s The Good Lord Bird. He’s a down-the-middle, reliable presence whose personality manages to come through in his work, so he strikes me as a good fit for the stylish world of 1970s New York City, when this project is set.

Hughes will direct the first and third episodes of The Continental for Lionsgate and Starz, but a director for the second episode has yet to be pinpointed. John Wick franchise director Chad Stahelski was originally going to direct the pilot back when this was going to be a more traditional prequel show, and there’s still the possibility that he takes the helm for the second installment in addition to performing his executive producer duties.

Here’s how THR describes the show:

A prequel spinoff, Continental is set 40 years before the events of the Wick series and focuses on a young man named Winston. He will one day grow up to be the character played by Ian McShane in the Wick movies but in the prequel’s story is a young man starting as a hitman hotelier who, along with others, create a haven for unsavory types, all set against a backdrop of 1970s New York.

Are We Approaching A New Era of Event Trilogies?

With Netflix’s Fear Street movie trilogy concluding today and this news about The Continental‘s transformation into a three-episode “event series,” we’re wondering if we’re on the precipice of a new trend: straight-to-streaming trilogies across film and television. One of the biggest problem with streamers is their unending quest to produce a constant spout of content often results in films and shows getting lost in the deluge. Crafting trilogies and making them events like this seems like a terrific way to pluck things out of that fast-flowing hose and make them feel special – or at least give them a fighting chance to make an impact that lasts longer than a mere 24 hours.

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