About a year ago, we heard that JJ Abrams’ production company Bad Robot was teaming with WarnerMedia to develop a live-action adaptation of DC Comics’ Justice League Dark for HBO Max. There’s still no word on when that TV series will even happen, but we’re already getting our spinoff announcement. First reported by The Vulcan Reporter, and then later confirmed by both Deadline and Variety, it appears that Bad Robot is working on a tie-in series focusing on John Constantine, the fan-favourite comic book warlock who has been both a member and leader of the Justice League Dark in a few of the mystic superhero team’s incarnations.
Constantine has previously been portrayed on-screen twice. First was by Keanu Reeves in the 2005 film which was actually a great movie even though it deviated massively from the source material on a key few points. Far more accurate an adaptation was the one we got in the criminally short-lived Constantine NBC series starring Matt Ryan. The British actor was so good in the role that after the show was canceled, his version of the “Hellblazer” was transplanted over to CW’s Arrowverse universe where he became a regular on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Ryan also voiced Constantine in a number of animated movie appearances.
It’s believed though that this upcoming adaptation of Constantine will be a departure from Ryan’s popular take. Instead, this version – penned by upcoming British author Guy Bolton – will be a “darker” reboot following “a younger version of the character” in London. It will reportedly also “focus more on the horror elements of the comics rather than the religious ones”. The most intriguing detail in the reports though is that WarnerMedia is looking to cast a “diverse lead” as Constantine. Seeing as how the character’s iconic look was modeled after British singer Sting by creators Alan Moore and Rick Veitch, I can already hear some longtime fans getting upset at this change.
Personally, I’m not too bugged by these tweaks. We’ve already had one Constantine adaptation step wildly away from the source and still turn out great, so there’s no reason why we can’t have another. What do you folks think?
Last Updated: February 18, 2021