After a casting announcement confirmed that Mel Gibson would join the John Wick universe, fans now have their first look at the actor's inclusion in The Continental.
Over the past 10 to 15 years, Gibson has found himself in a string of different controversies, with the actor being labeled on numerous occasions as anti-Semitic, racist, and homophobic on more than one occasion, with more on the list as well.
But even with all of that trouble, Gibson remains a steady presence in Hollywood with nearly two dozen credits on his resume in the last decade, and he's far from done thanks to his latest new role in the John Wick franchise.
The Continental Spin-off Gives First Look at Mel Gibson
IGN revealed the first look at Mel Gibson's character, Cormac, the current ruthless proprietor of the titular Continental Hotel in The Continental: From the World of John Wick.
The still shows Cormac dressed to the nines in true John Wick fashion, wearing a classy suit in what is presumed to be the famed Continental establishment.
Speaking with the outlet, executive producer Basil Iwanyk and executive producer/director Albert Hughes also addressed the controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's casting in the upcoming John Wick spin-off series.
Many were upset about the casting considering Gibson's history of controversial comments regarding Jewish people, women, and others.
One fan explained that it wasn't that "Mel Gibson proves cancel culture isn’t a thing," but that his hire proves that "society actively doesn’t care about DV (domestic violence), racism, or antisemitism."
Iwanyk simply said "no" when asked if Gibson's history gave the team any hesitation in casting him, noting that "there just simply wasn’t a consideration about it" when they hired him for the role.
Hughes responded to the same question by saying that Gibson "fit the role" and fit what the team needed "based on his film past," not wanting to offer any clickbait-type comments on the matter:
"No. I think he fit the role, he fit what we needed based on his film past. And I'll leave others to debate the other stuff because it's not a black-and-white issue, and I don't want to be sound-bited and clickbait. That's a tricky game to get into."
The producer highlighted the "weight that [Gibson] brought" to the part, explaining that there was nobody that "could have fit better" for what the team envisioned:
"I have my own personal beliefs in life and whatnot about everything, but I'm here to entertain. And earlier in my career I wasn't so careful. But there's a weight that he brought, the stuff that he brought from his past roles and what he has done that we needed for this role. And I don't think anybody could have fit better, let's put it that way, just with his chops and his experience."
Gibson was arrested in 2006 and charged with a DUI, and he was recorded shortly after that making anti-Semitic remarks, which he later called an "unfortunate incident" in 2016. He also pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge after allegedly beating an ex-girlfriend in 2011.
Will Mel Gibson Casting Hurt the John Wick Spin-Off?
Hollywood is no stranger to controversial actors in major franchises, as seen by the MCU's Jonathan Majors and the DCEU's Ezra Miller - although their troubles emerged after their debuts, not before as is the case with Gibson.
But with Gibson's long-standing record of issues over the years, even considering his long history on the big and small screen, many viewers are concerned that the actor's issues are being taken too lightly.
Iwanyk and Hughes clearly feel that this actor is the one that fits their vision the best for this expansion to the John Wick universe, which continues to be a massive hit thanks to the incredible cast and crew that brought John Wick: Chapter 4 to life.
And with Gibson being one of the biggest names attached to this spin-off, the 45-year veteran of Lethal Weapon and Braveheart fame will certainly be a focal point of attention for fans and critics as the series moves forward.
The Continental: From the World of John Wick is expected to hit Peacock in September.