TV Talk

John Wick Prequel Series The Continental Casts Mel Gibson and Series Lead Colin Woodell

Oscar-winner Gibson plays a mysterious figure, while Woodall is a young Winston Scott, played by Ian McShane in the films. Plus, more top TV news.

by | October 21, 2021 | Comments

John Wick film franchise prequel series and hotel origin story The Continental heats up at Starz with its lead and Mel Gibson announced for the cast. Climate change anthology series Extrapolations announces cast including, Meryl Streep, Kit Harington, Daveed Diggs, and Sienna Miller. Plus, a History of the World, Part I sequel series, Red Notice trailer, and more of the biggest news in TV and streaming this week.


TOP STORY

John Wick Prequel Series at Starz Casts Mel Gibson and Colin Woodell

John Wick 3 poster; Mel Gibson, Colin Woodell

Not every John Wick fan is happy about the casting of controversial Oscar winner Mel Gibson in Starz’ prequel series The Continental, but Deadline reports it’s a go for Gibson, who will play a new character in the series: Cormac, a mysterious figure about whom no further details are known.

The series revolves around the origins of the hotel for assassins featured in the Wick films, as told through the eyes of Winston Scott (played by Ian McShane in the Wick movies, and to be played by The Flight Attendant’s Colin Woodell in the series), in 1975 New York City, when a dangerous attempt is made to overtake the hotel. The series will unfold as a three-night event on Starz, though no premiere date has yet been set.

The Continental will be Gibson’s first regular TV role. He won a Best Director Oscar for the 1995 movie Braveheart, which also won the Best Picture Academy Award. But in recent years, after he made anti-Semitic and racist comments in multiple incidents, Gibson has worked only in smaller budget film projects.

The Continental is written and executive produced by Greg Coolidge and Kirk Ward, who also serve as showrunners, while original Wick movie writer Derek Kolstad will also be an EP on the project.

The next Wick movie, John Wick 4, will star Keanu Reeves returning as Wick, as well as Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick, Shamier Anderson, Donnie Yen, Rina Sawayama, Bill Skarsgård, Scott Adkins, and Clancy Brown. The movie is scheduled for release on May 27, 2022.


NEW TRAILERS: Red Notice: Final Trailer Pits Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds Against Gal Gadot (She’s Winning)

Red Notice is an action adventure flick in which FBI profiler John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) wants to catch the world’s most wanted art thief: (Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds). Except, Booth is actually now the second most wanted thief, behind “The Bishop” (Gal Gadot), who has set Hartley up. Now the profiler needs Booth’s help to get him out of hot water, and Booth needs Hartley to catch The Bishop so he can reclaim the dubious honor of being the top pilferer. Premieres Nov. 12 (Netflix)

More trailers and teasers released this week:
• Being the Ricardos is the Aaron Sorkin-penned movie about the behind-the-scenes drama about Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and husband/co-star Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) and their complicated relationship, via a look at one week in the production of their classic sitcom I Love Lucy. Also stars Jake Lacy, J.K. Simmons, Nina Arianda, Tony Hale, and Alia Shawkat. Premieres Dec. 21 (Amazon)
• In The Great season 2, Catherine (Elle Fanning) finally takes the Russian throne for her own — but if she thought her coup against her husband (Nicholas Hoult) was difficult, it’s nothing compared to the realities of liberating a country that doesn’t want to be … and then there’s her mother (Gillian Anderson) to deal with. Premieres Nov. 19 (Hulu).
• Diary of a Wimpy Kid is the animated movie adaptation of the first book in author Jeff Kinney’s wildly popular series about Greg Heffley, a scrawny, but ambitious kid with an active imagination and big plans to be rich and famous – if he can just survive middle school first. Featuring the voicework of Brady Noon, Ethan William Childress, and Chris Diamantopoulos. Premieres Dec. 3. (Disney+)
• Ozark season 4, part 1 is the beginning of the end for the Byrde family and their journey from “normal” suburban Chicago family to their life running a dangerous criminal enterprise in the Ozarks. The final season will unspool in two parts of seven episodes each. Premieres Jan. 21. (Netflix)
• Cowboy Bebop, based on the beloved anime series, is an action-packed space Western about three bounty hunters, aka “cowboys,” all trying to outrun the past. As different as they are deadly, Spike Spiegel (John Cho), Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir), and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda) form a scrappy, snarky crew ready to hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals — for the right price. Premieres Nov. 19. (Netflix)
• Marvel’s Hit-Monkey is an animated series about a Japanese snow monkey who, after his tribe is slaughtered, joins forces with the ghost of an American assassin, and together, they begin killing their way through the Yakuza underworld. Voice cast includes Jason Sudeikis, George Takei, Olivia Munn, Ally Maki, Nobi Nakanishi, and Fred Tatasciore. Premieres Nov. 17. (Hulu)
• The Expanse’s sixth and final season sixth picks up with the solar system at war, as Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander) and his Free Navy continue to launch devastating asteroid attacks on Earth and Mars, while the Rocinante crew (Steven Strait, Dominique Tipper, Wes Chatham) hunt down the war criminals. Premieres Dec. 10. (Amazon Video)
• The Lost Daughter is a drama, written and directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal, adapted from a novel by Elena Ferrante, about Leda (Olivia Colman), alone on a seaside vacation, who becomes obsessed with a mother and daughter as she watches them on the beach and is reminded of her years as a new mother … leading to a shocking act that forces Leda to face the consequences of choices she made as a mother. Also stars Gyllenhaal, Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley, Ed Harris, Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Mescal, and Dagmara Dominczyk. Premieres Dec. 31. (Netflix)
• Snoopy in Space season 2 features 12 new episodes of the charming animated show with the Peanuts gang helping Snoopy use his incredible imagination for adventures in space. Premieres 12. (Apple TV+)
• Riverdale season 6 is as extra as ever, including a crossover event that will feature Kiernan Shipka’s Sabrina Spellman from Netflix series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Premieres Nov. 16. (The CW)

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CASTING: Extrapolations: Meryl Streep, Matthew Rhys, Kit Harington, Daveed Diggs, and David Schwimmer Star in Apple TV+ Climate Change Anthology Series

Meryl Streep in 2019

(Photo by Marilla Sicilia/Archivio Marilla Sicilia/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Apple TV+ has lined up an all-star cast for Extrapolations, its climate change-themed anthology series. Meryl Streep, Matthew Rhys, Kit Harington, Daveed Diggs, David Schwimmer, Sienna Miller, Gemma Chan, Tahar Rahim, and Adarsh Gourav will star in the eight-episode, interconnected episodes, which will focus on how everything in our lives will be impacted by climate change, including love, family, and work.

GLOW alum Betty Gilpin will star in Blood Sugar, a series in development at HBO, about a woman whose frozen food pitch is rejected on Shark Tank, spurring her on to “one of the funniest, bloodiest, and wildest rises to fame and fortune this country has ever seen,” Variety reports. Gilpin will also be an executive producer on the project.

Uma Thurman has joined the cast of Showtime’s anthology series Super Pumped, playing Arianna Huffington. The series, starring Kyle Chandler and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and executive produced by Billions creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien. The first season of the series is based on author Mike Isaac’s bestselling book Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, with Thurman’s Huffington one of the Uber board members.

Orange Is the New Black alum Pablo Schreiber has joined the cast of Hulu’s Candy, playing Alan Gore, the husband of Betty Gore (Melanie Lynskey), the Texas woman murdered by her friend, the titular Candy Montgomery (Jessica Biel) in the true crime story. (Variety)

ABC has added original series star Corbin Bernsen to the cast of its LA Law sequel series pilot. Bernsen will reprise his role as attorney Arnie Becker, the lothario who’s having trouble adjusting to the modern workplace, Original series cast member Blair Underwood has already signed on for the reboot.

Underwood has also signed on to the Showtime drama series Three Women. The series, based on Lisa Taddeo’s book of the same name, will feature Underwood as a chef who is shocked to learn his wife is sleeping with a new man, despite the fact that they are in an open marriage. The series revolves around three women (Betty Gilpin, DeWanda Wise, and another actress to be cast) who are completely upending their lives, and a writer (Shailene Woodley) who’s chronicling their stories.

Freida Pinto will star in Netflix’s The Henna Artist, a soapy romance set in 1950s Jaipur, about a popular henna artist named Lakshmi who learns all the secrets of her wealthy clientele, but her own secrets may come back to haunt her when she falls in love and wants to create a new life for herself among Jaipur’s elite society. The series is based on author Alka Josh’s book of the same name. (Deadline)

Debris and Justified alum Jonathan Tucker has joined the cast of Echoes, Netflix’s upcoming psychological thriller limited series about a set of twins (played by Michelle Monaghan) who secretly swap lives, sharing two sets of families, homes, and lives, until their carefully ordered world is put in danger when one of them goes missing. Matt Bomer and Daniel Sunjata play the twins’ husbands, and Tucker will play “a troubled and mysterious local townie and childhood associate” of the twins, Leni and Gina, Deadline reports.


PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT: A Sopranos Sequel Series in the Works at HBO Max?

David Chase

(Photo by Peter Zakhary/American Cinema Editors via Getty Images)

Though reactions to The Sopranos prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark were mixed, WarnerMedia executive Ann Sarnoff told Deadline that Sopranos creator David Chase (pictured) is in talks with HBO Max for another prequel movie or possibly a whole new prequel series. No additional details were offered – would the movie or series focus on new characters or existing Sopranos characters, for instance? – but Sarnoff said Chase has indicated he would only do a new series or movie if it were set in the time following The Many Saints of Newark and before the beginning of The Sopranos, and if he could write the script/s with The Sopranos writer and EP Terence Winter. We think the obvious path here is the Uncle Junior series we’ve been waiting on, with Corey Stoll picking up right where he left off with his scene-stealing performance in The Many Saints of Newark. (Deadline)

Hulu has given a series order to an eight-episode variety series, History of the World, Part II, a series sequel to Mel Brooks’ seminal 1981 movie History of the World, Part I. The legendary 95-year-old Brooks will executive and write the series, along with Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen, and Kevin Salter. The series is scheduled to premiere in Spring 2022.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Ryan Murphy are developing Outfielder, a limited series for Netflix about the life of Los Angeles Dodger player Glenn Burke, who, as a 19-year-old, gave the first high five, on Oct. 2, 1977, when teammate Dusty Baker hit his 30th home run of the year in the last game of the regular season. Burke, also the subject of an ESPN 30 for 30 short called The High Five, was also the first Major League Baseball player to come out as gay to his teammates. The late athlete was among the first class of inductees into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame. (Deadline)

It’s a very musical week in TV news, with:

• HBO Max and CNN producing Carole King & James Taylor: Just Call Out My Name, a documentary about the two superstars and their 2010 joint world tour, “Troubadour Reunion Tour,” named for the years, early in their careers, when they played the iconic Troubadour club in West Hollywood.

• The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has announced special guests for the HoF induction ceremony on Oct. 30, which will be broadcast for the first time on Nov, 20 on HBO: Angela Bassett will induct Tina Turner, with performances by Christina Aguilera, Mickey Guyton, H.E.R., and Bryan Adams; Taylor Swift will induct Carole King, with performances by Swift and Jennifer Hudson; Drew Barrymore will induct The Go-Gos; Paul McCartney will induct Foo Fighters; and Lionel Richie will induct Clarence Avant for the Ahmet Ertegun Award. This year’s other inductees include Jay-Z, Todd Rundgren, Kraftwerk, Charley Patton, Gil Scott-Heron, LL Cool J, Billy Preston, and Randy.

• The 2021 Soul Train Awards, on BET, will air on Nov. 28, filmed for the first time at the world famous Apollo Theater in New York. The special marks the 50-year anniversary of Soul Train, and nominees and performers will be announced at a later date.

• CBS will air Adele One Night Only on Nov. 14, a concert special in which the Grammy winner will preview songs from her new album, 30, which debuts on Nov. 19. She’ll also sing her biggest hits and sit down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey during the two-hour primetime special.

Tubi, the ad-supported streaming platform from Fox, is releasing its first adult animated comedy: Freak Brothers, based on the underground comic book The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. The series, debuting on Nov. 14, revolves around friends Freewheelin’ Franklin Freek (Woody Harrelson), Fat Freddy Freekotowski (John Goodman), and Phineas T. Phreakers (Pete Davidson) and their cat, Kitty (Tiffany Haddish), who wake up from a 50-year nap after smoking some magic weed and try to adjust to present-day life in San Francisco.

Netflix announced XO, Kitty, a spin-off series from the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie series. The new series, from executive producer and To All the Boys author Jenny Han, will revolve around teen matchmaker Kitty Song Covey (Anna Cathcart), who thinks she knows everything there is to know about love. But when she moves halfway across the world to reunite with her long-distance boyfriend, she’ll soon realize that relationships are a lot more complicated when it’s your own heart on the line.

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