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How To Ruin the John Wick Extended Universe: Add Mel Gibson

Keanu Reeves as John Wick looks into the camera as a tailor's hand holds a measuring tape to his collar

Mel Gibson has joined the cast of the upcoming John Wick prequel spinoff series The Continental, leading fans everywhere to ask … why? Why would you do this to us?

The Continental was first ordered by Starz back in 2018. The premise focuses on the titular Continental Hotel, an infamous meeting place for assassins. In the John Wick films, the hotel is run by Winston, played by Ian McShane. McShane had already said that he wasn’t going to be featured in the series, which makes sense since it’s set in the 1970s while the films are present-day, though he did leave open the possibility of doing voice-over narration.

“’The Continental’ will explore the origin behind the hotel-for-assassins through the eyes and actions of a young Winston Scott, who is dragged into the Hell-scape of a 1975 New York City to face a past he thought he’d left behind,” Variety reports. “Winston charts a deadly course through the 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.”

Earlier this year, Lionsgate TV chairman Kevin Beggs told Deadline about the “super exciting” pitch they got for the series “about a crumbling New York in the 1970s with a garbage strike that has piled up bags of garbage to the third floor of most brownstones, the mafia muscling in on that business which is why in The Sopranos he’s in the sanitation business, and other things that are really real as an interesting backdrop to explore the origins of The Continental.”

All of that sounded so exciting. And then they had to go and cast Mel Gibson, proving once again that “cancel culture” isn’t real and even men who have routinely made homophobic, racist, and anti-semitic comments, and who have been credibly accused of domestic abuse, are likely to see no actual consequences for their behavior.

Gibson has been lying relatively low in recent years, though that’s “relative” to his massive blockbuster film career of past decades. Over the last five years–the period during which Hollywood is supposed to have gone through a purported social justice upheaval–Gibson has continued to work steadily on mostly smaller projects, although he also had a major studio comedy (Daddy’s Home), a major studio action thriller (Force of Nature–also produced by Lionsgate), and even an Oscar nomination for Best Director for Hacksaw Ridge, which also got him a 10-minute-long standing ovation from his peers at the Venice Film Festival at the time. He currently has eleven different upcoming projects in various stages of development listed on IMDB.

The biggest consequence he seems to have faced for being a racist, homophobic, antisemitic, allegedly abusive POS is that Netflix said they would recast his role in the Chicken Run sequel. I’m sure he cried into his vault of money over that one.

It’s a shame. I was really looking forward to this show that I will probably now never watch.

(via Variety, image: Lionsgate)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.