Peacock’s ‘The Continental: From the World of John Wick’ is a three-part miniseries that serves as a prequel to the ‘John Wick‘ film franchise. Developed by Greg Coolidge, Kirk Ward, and Shawn Simmons, the action-thriller series stars Colin Woodell as a Young Winston Scott, who rises to power as the proprietor of the titular hotel, which provides a safe haven to deadly assassins. Given the show’s period setting and fast-paced narrative, viewers must be curious to learn about the prequel/spin-off’s place in the franchise’s timeline and geographical setting.
The Continental Is Set in the 1970s
‘The Continental’ follows the story of a Young Winston Scott, who is forced to return to New York after his brother steals an object of value to the High Table from the titular hotel. The series is effectively a prequel to the mainline ‘John Wick’ films, which feature Winston Scott as a supporting character and take place in the present day. The show’s events are set in the past, and Winston’s story unfolds through the 1970s. The series also uses real-world events to establish the socioeconomic backdrop for the narrative.
The story highlights the tribulations of the Winter of Discontent – a period between November 1978 and February 1979 in the United Kingdom, marked by strikes of the private and public sector trade unions. Similarly, the American Mafia’s rise to economic power is another major real-life event from the 1970s explored in the series. As a result, the series’ events align with Winston’s already-established history in the franchise, as he has been the manager of The Continental Hotel for nearly four decades. Moreover, the socioeconomic unrest of the 1970s provided interesting storytelling opportunities.
The Continental Is Rooted in New York
The events of ‘The Continental’ primarily occur in New York City, a recurring setting in the mainline ‘John Wick’ franchise movies. The films in the franchise establish that the titular hotel in New York City is one of the many branches belonging to a chain of hotels that provide sanctuary to illegal assassins. The Continental is arguably the most iconic location in the franchise. Therefore, it makes sense that the New York City Hotel is the prequel series’ primary setting that expands upon the franchise’s lore and world. However, the show’s narrative expands beyond just the titular hotel, as it explores other parts of New York, such as Manhattan and Chinatown, helping elaborate Winston’s connection with the city, which is an integral part of the character’s story in the films.
Unlike the movies, the series was not filmed in New York City. In the movies, the Beaver Building, a flatiron-shaped 15-story Manhattan skyscraper, serves as The Continental Hotel’s exterior location. However, the prequel series was entirely filmed in Budapest, Hungary. Most interior scenes featuring the titular hotel were filmed at several establishments in the Hungarian capital. Similarly, the city doubles as New York of the 1970s for other exterior scenes. A portion of the series also takes place in London, United Kingdom, and these scenes were shot in Budapest. However, the Beaver Building likely continues to serve as the exterior location for The Continental Hotel. Nonetheless, ‘The Continental’ is mainly set in New York City, and its history and culture are reflected in the narrative.
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