In 2014, John Wick changed the way that action is portrayed in action films. Now, upcoming John Wick prequel The Continental is trying to do that again, in television form. The action isn’t the whole point of the show, though: there’s also the building out of the world introduced in John Wick and teasing out the origins of some familiar characters too. To make that happen, The Continental executive producer and director Albert Hughes is using a particular tool to set the tone: music.
During The Continental panel at San Diego Comic Con this year, Hughes shared an anecdote about trading ideas with John Wick director Chad Stahelski, who took inspiration from Bob Fosse and musical theater for John Wick. As for Hughes, he wanted to lean into music, music from the 70s (when the show is set) particularly. Because The Continental takes place in New York, it can be multicultural, Hughes explained. He went on to share that, as a biracial director, he was excited to be able to finally get to express his background through music in the show. What music, you might ask? Hughes name-dropped artists including Santana, ZZ Top, James Brown, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, and Donna Summer.
Not only will The Continental feature music from a variety of genres, the music will also be interwoven in the show in different ways. Hughes promises “needle drops everywhere.” We won't just be hearing classic tunes during fight scenes, but during normal scenes as well. “It’s not just score," he promised, "it's music.”
The Continental will debut on Peacock on September 22, 2023.