In many cases, action scenes in movies require a meticulous amount of planning, an intimidating amount of coordination, and in many cases, a baffling amount of time to film properly. Though this is often the case when filming a feature-length film, television productions run on a much tighter schedule, and the opening stairwell scene in Peacock’s The Continental is living proof that the impossible can be accomplished if the right team is in place.
According to Variety, the brilliantly shot scene in question was filmed in its entirety in a single day, which is impressive, to say the least.
The opening sequence of The Continental is an elaborate shoot-out worthy of a John Wick film, but it was done in only one day.
For context, a similarly complex scene in the John Wick film franchise would take three to five days to successfully film. The Continental: From the World of John Wick, which saw its September 22 premiere, wasted no time establishing the action as we saw Frankie (Ben Robson) pop off round after round while running frantically up and down the stairs after stealing a coin press from The Continental, eliminating anybody who dared to keep him from escaping the building.
Within three minutes, we see Frankie use a henchman as a living meat shield while fighting off goons from above and below in an expertly choreographed sequence that has a kill count that falls into Dolph Lundgren territory.
According to The Continental’s stunt coordinator, Larnell Stovall, his team was tasked with producing a film-level fight on a TV production schedule, and a lot of attention to detail had to be considered before shooting the scene.
By now, we all know that Keanu Reeves is no stranger to double-fisting weapons while executing his missions, but upon watching the first of three 90-minute installments of The Continental, it’s safe to say that Ben Robson is a force to be reckoned with on-set.
Not only did the crew have to consider making room for the camera crew to move around easily as body after Ben Robson’s Frankie leveled body, but they also had to be conscious of time because in television production, sets and locations are booked and scheduled carefully, and there may not be opportunities to reshoot if anything goes wrong. In other words, if they didn’t capture the carnage at the level they planned, there’s no saying when they could go back and try again.
From the second you see the lights flashing and hear the intercom announcing “red light active,” you know it’s about to get serious, and from that point forward, there are too many bodies to count as Frankie makes his daring escape.
The Continental is a very different take on the world of John Wick, and its success opens the door to even more possible spin-offs down the road.
By now, we all know that Keanu Reeves is no stranger to double-fisting weapons while executing his missions, but upon watching the first of three 90-minute installments of The Continental, it’s safe to say that Ben Robson is a force to be reckoned with on-set. And if the first episode is any indication of what’s to come, we can reasonably assume that there’s plenty more where that came from.
The Continental set long before the events in the John Wick films, saw its Peacock premiere on September 22, and the series will conclude on October 6, 2023, with its third installment.
We don’t have to wait much longer for another feature-film installment either; Ballerina, which will be set between the events of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and Chapter 4, is slated for a June 7, 2024 release. John Wick: Chapter 5 is also in development, but as of this writing, the story has yet to be mapped out at this point in the film’s development.