The Big Picture
- The John Wick films have a fast-paced and intense timeline, with the first three movies taking place over a few weeks.
- Wick’s actions in the series led to his excommunication and a worldwide hunt, with a significant time jump between the third and fourth films.
- The upcoming spin-off series, The Continental, takes place in the 1970s and focuses on a younger Winston.
The John Wick films are sprawling, chaotic, fast-paced, and intense and things happen very quickly. So quickly, in fact, that the timeline for the series has been clarified to state that although they took years to make, the first three movies take place over a very short space of time. Speaking with Collider’s Christina Radish, the franchise’s producers Erica Lee and Basil Iwanyk — while promoting the upcoming prequel series, The Continental — gave their own interpretation of how the film’s series of events played out, and over how much time, admitting that it was technically not specifically defined within the film’s canon, although there is a significant time jump from the third film to the fourth.
The events of John Wick set in motion the entire series, with Chapter 2 taking place a few days after the dénouement as Wick (Keanu Reeves) tidies up some loose ends having taken down the Russian mafia that inadvertently brought him out of retirement following the murder of his puppy and the jacking of his beloved car. But Wick’s return to public life means he’s called into action by the High Table, and Wick wants out. He can’t just leave, however, and ends up killing Riccardo Scamarcio‘s Santino D’Antonio, on Continental grounds, which are sacred. This sets off a worldwide hunt for Wick, with an enormousbounty on his head.
Having been made “excommunicado” for his actions, Wick arranges safe passage to Casablanca to hide out and recruit help, seeking out the Elder of the High Table before his return to New York, where he has been told to kill Winston (Ian McShane), the manager of the New York Continental. However, Winston aligns himself with the High Table, and shoots John, with John falling to the streets below the roof of the Continental. John is secretly delivered to the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) in an underground bunker, where the pair agree to take on the High Table.
“Long Enough to Heal and Still Be Angry”
“I think the first three are set over three weeks,” said Iwanyk, before adding that the fourth film is set around “eight months later, or something like that.” Lee also noted the length of time had to be enough for Wick to heal from his injuries, but to still be angry at what Winston and the High Table had done to him.
Iwanyk and Lee were promoting The Continental, a spin-off series from the films which is based around the hotel that is the focal point of the franchise. The Continental is a prequel series set in the 1970s, revolving around a younger Winston played by Colin Woodell. It premieres on September 22nd, on Peacock.