A Bowery Kinɡ Spinoff Could Sаve Tһe Joһn Wiсk Frаnсһise After Tһe Continentаl’s Fаilure

The Bowery King is one of the most interesting fixtures of John Wick’s criminal underworld, and the time is right for the character to see a spinoff.

Laurence Fishburne as The Bowery King in John Wick


  • The failure of The Continental provides an opportunity for a Bowery King spinoff in the John Wick franchise.
  • The Bowery King’s network and charismatic character make it a compelling option for further exploration.
  • A Bowery King spinoff would succeed by offering a distinct identity, contrasting the formal tone of John Wick with a gritty and fun atmosphere while benefitting from the star power of Laurence Fishburne.

The John Wick franchise is in an uncertain position after the underwhelming response to The Continental, but the show’s failure opens up the perfect opportunity for a Bowery King spinoff. Of all the eccentric syndicates and subsets of John Wick’s criminal world, the network of the Bowery King is one of the most compelling. The endlessly charismatic Laurence Fishburne is a consistent joy to watch as the self-proclaimed monarch whose network of soldiers and spies masquerades as members of New York City’s unhoused population.

While the massive success of the John Wick movies has bred spinoff aspirations for the filmmakers, the franchise’s first attempt hasn’t fared particularly well. The three-part Continental series, a prequel detailing how John Wick ally Winston came to become manager of the Continental Hotel, was met with mixed reviews, making for the worst Rotten Tomatoes score of the John Wick franchise by a wide margin. Yet the enthusiastic response to John Wick: Chapter 4 mere months earlier signals that interest in this universe is still very much alive; it’s simply a matter of choosing the right direction for a spinoff.

A Bowery King Spinoff Is The Perfect Next Step For The John Wick Franchise

The unique breadth of John Wick’s world is one of the franchise’s greatest strengths. While it’s consistently entertaining to follow the laconic John Wick’s whistle-stop murder tour of the criminal underworld, the franchise will be missing a trick if it doesn’t take the time to explore some of these briefly glimpsed factions in greater detail. While the upcoming John Wick spinoff Ballerina is expected to offer a deeper exploration of the Rusca Roma crime syndicate, and The Continental elaborates on the backstory of the titular hotel, the franchise is still yet to tap into the compelling world of the Bowery King.

Why A Bowery King Spinoff Would Fare Better Than The Continental

Winston and Mazie in the

While The Continental is by no means bad, the franchise-low Rotten Tomatoes score reflects the fact that the series has failed to live up to the high standard set by the John Wick movies. The absence of a star who can match Keanu Reeves’s screen presence is deeply felt. What’s more, the tonal and aesthetic similarities to the John Wick movies only underscore the comparative weakness of the series’ action sequences. If the John Wick franchise’s spinoff strategy is going to succeed, these projects need a distinct identity of their own.

The Bowery King can certainly deliver a fresh perspective. In the words of John Wick franchise producer Basil Iwanyk, “The Continental […] it’s very formal. And the Bowery King people are crazy and fun and informal.” A Bowery King spinoff would successfully ward off unfavorable comparisons to John Wick by striking a gritty tone that complements John Wick’s classy, neon-soaked world. Furthermore, the spinoff would benefit from the star power of Laurence Fishburne, an actor who has repeatedly proved himself capable of matching Keanu Reeves’s screen presence. A Fishburne-led Bowery King spinoff would be the perfect project to right the ship of the John Wick franchise after The Continental.

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