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The Oscar winner has signed on to the series, which is set 40 years before the events of the film series starring Keanu Reeves. It’s set at the titular hotel, a gathering place for international assassins.
The three-part series, which has tapped Albert Hughes as its lead director, will center on the young version of Winston Scott, played by Ian McShane in the films. The character is pulled back into a world he thought he’d left behind and takes on a harrowing attempt to seize control of the hotel.
Gibson will play a character named Cormac. Other details of his role are being kept under wraps.
Lionsgate TV, whose sister movie studio produces the film series, is producing The Continental. The series has been in development since 2018, when Starz (which is owned by Lionsgate) broached the idea of setting an ongoing series at the hotel.
Greg Coolidge and Kirk Ward (Wayne) are writing and will serve as showrunners. They executive produce along with John Wick screenwriter Derek Kolstad and director Chad Stahelski, Thunder Road Pictures’ Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee, David Leitch, Shawn Simmons, Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese.
For Gibson, The Continental will be his first series work since his recurring role in the 2004-05 ABC comedy Complete Savages, which he also exec produced. His recent film credits include Fatman, Dragged Across Concrete and The Professor and the Madman. He’s repped by APA and attorney Leigh Brecheen.
News of Gibson’s casting in The Continental sparked a backlash on social media Monday, as many people noted the actor and director’s history of anti-Semitic comments (including following a DUI arrest in 2006) and his no contest plea to battery on former partner Oksana Grigorieva in 2011.
“It’s not that Mel Gibson proves cancel culture isn’t a thing,” reads one representative comment on Twitter. “It’s that hiring Mel Gibson shows society actively doesn’t care about [domestic violence], racism, or antisemitism.”
Deadline first reported the news.
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