Kuala Lumpur, Sept 21: Mel Gibson, known for his versatile roles in Hollywood, recently delved into the intriguing world of “The Continental,” an upcoming three-part event series set to explore the origins of the iconic hotel-for-assassins featured in the John Wick universe. In a candid interview, Gibson shared insights into the series, his character Cormac, and the unique setting that drives the story.
“The Continental” promises a captivating journey back to 1970s New York City, a period characterized by its gritty atmosphere and urban decay. The series focuses on Winston Scott, played by Colin Woodell, who is drawn back into the dangerous underworld of the city as he seeks to claim control of the Continental Hotel, a pivotal location in the John Wick universe.
Gibson described “The Continental” as a world that is “half fantasy, but mostly super violent,” where characters must navigate a complex web of rules and restrictions, forcing even the most savage individuals to behave within the bounds of civility.
One of the central figures in this world is Cormac, portrayed by Gibson himself. Cormac is an intimidating and ruthless New York City kingpin, who also served as a mentor—or possibly tormentor—to Winston and his brother Frankie during their youth. As the series unfolds, viewers will witness Cormac’s desperation and his descent into anger and lunacy as he pursues the recovery of a stolen object of immense value.
Regarding his character, Gibson explained that Cormac is perceived as a father figure by Winston and Frankie in their youth. However, as the brothers grow and begin to understand Cormac’s true nature, they realize he may not be the paternal figure he pretends to be. Instead, they see his selfish motives and the ill ways in which he has exploited them, fueling their desire for revenge.
A central plot point in “The Continental” revolves around the theft of a crucial item—a coin press—that Cormac desperately needs to maintain his power and influence in this secretive world. As Gibson noted, the coin press serves as a symbol of currency in the series and becomes a focal point of the characters’ struggles.
The 1970s New York City setting plays a significant role in shaping the tone of “The Continental.” Gibson reminisced about the era, describing it as “skeevy” and recalling the soot-filled atmosphere that characterized the city at the time.
The series takes inspiration from 1970s cinema classics like “Taxi Driver,” infusing the setting with a hyperreal and amped-up style.
The visual elements of “The Continental” contribute to its unique atmosphere, with sets featuring a noir-inspired design and a hint of Gothic aesthetics. The characters’ wardrobe choices, while sometimes over-the-top, add to the sense of timelessness in the series. Overall, the setting and style contribute to a dark and cynical tone, mirroring the psyche of the characters inhabiting this shadowy world.
“The Continental” is poised to be a thrilling addition to the John Wick universe, promising to delve deep into the origins of the Continental Hotel and the complex relationships that define its inhabitants. As fans eagerly await its release, Mel Gibson’s portrayal of Cormac and the gritty 1970s New York City backdrop are sure to leave a lasting impression.
“The Continental” is scheduled to premiere in three parts, with Part 1 airing on Sept 22, Part 2 on Sept 29, and Part 3 on Oct 6 on Prime Video.
Viewers are advised to stay tuned for this captivating journey into the heart of the John Wick universe.
Interview with Mel Gibson as “Cormac”
Introduce us to the world of The Continental.
Well, it’s a pretty strange place. It’s a world unto itself… half fantasy, but mostly super violent. And absurd, in a sense, you know? Because there’s restrictions and rules attached to the place that make people who are otherwise fairly savage kind of have to behave, but just within the bounds of civility.
How is the audience drawn into this world?
I think what makes an action film work is if you become involved with the protagonists, to a degree. And you have to hiss the villains and cheer for the good guys, or the other way around. Are there any good guys?
Tell us about your character Cormac. How does he relate to Winston and Charon?
Well, he’s kind of like their mentor, or actually, mentor or tormentor, I’m not sure which. But he’s rather a nefarious character who’s like a father figure to them, and they perceive him that way when they’re young, but as they grow and begin to analyse who he really is, they realise he’s probably not the father figure he pretends to be. He’s pretty selfish in his own motives, and has used them in an ill way, and I think they’re burned by that and they want to get even. Rightly so.
What does the coin press mean to Cormac?
You need the coin press to exist in this world – if you haven’t got that kind of currency, the whole situation falls apart. It’s very important that he has this thing. But he doesn’t have it, it’s been stolen. And the music of the spheres will be off until he gets it back, and he’s quite aware of that. In fact, it might even be the end of him if he doesn’t get it back. So he’s feeling that pressure.
Tell us about New York in the ‘70s, where the series is set.
It was pretty skeevy back then in the ’70s, you know? I was actually born in New York, but not the city. I lived in the country. But I went to the city one time, and I remember having to wash the soot out of my nostrils for one day.
I think they’re taking the tropes of cinema from the 1970s, like Taxi Driver and stuff like that, you know, and kind of putting them on steroids here, so that it’s amped up somewhat, hyperreal. And this character, he’s New York Irish, and probably some kind of a mobster. So he’s probably about three or four generations in.
How does the setting and style inform the tone of the series?
It’s kind of a noir, and the sets are almost Gothic. The clothes are a little over-the-top, I mean, my character wears very nice suits, but it’s almost from the 1920s. And in the series itself, things are quiet, from the dialogue, acting, attitude. There’s a lot of cynicism and a dark underbelly to the psyche of most of the characters, which matches that style.
Editor’s Note: The interview with actor Mel Gibson was conducted prior to the onset of the SAG-AFTRA strikes.
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