Yesterday we covered some rumours about upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe projects (with more to follow later). Well, it seems that the universe wants us to be fair and even-handed in our approach so now a couple of rumours for the Distinguished Competition have popped up as well!
The first bit of DC Comics movie watercooler gossip comes from The Direct whose sources claim that a live-action movie focusing on John Constantine is currently in development with JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot production house for Warner Bros. Created by comics legend Alan Moore in 1985 (and modelled off the appearance of singer Sting), the chain-smoking British warlock has been very popular as of late thanks to the efforts of actor Matt Ryan who played the character on NBC’s short-lived Constantine TV series. Ryan made such a huge impact with fans, that the character was brought over to become a fixture in CW’s Arrowverse shows with Ryan also voicing Constantine in several DC animated movies.
Of course, Ryan wasn’t the first actor to play the role on screen. That honour belonged to Keanu Reeves in 2005’s Constantine. Directed by The Hunger Games’ Francis Lawrence, Constantine was a pretty enjoyable film but a terrible adaptation that made sweeping changes to the source (like making the iconically British and snarky John Constantine a gloomy American). And according to The Direct, there’s a chance that this new movie may be a soft reboot to bring the 55-year old Reeves back into the role. Or it could go with a completely new actor (which I find more likely) with no ties to the previous film.
On top of the Constantine rumour, DCEU Mythic claims to have heard that the long-gestating Zatanna live-action film is finally going into development at WB. We first got word a few years ago that the studio had been looking at adapting Zatanna along with a handful of other projects, but that was before the failure of Justice League forced WB to rethink all their plans. A classic superhero who has been around for nearly 60 years, Zatanna uses magic which she conjures with reverse-talk spells and is one of the DC Comics universe’ supernatural powerhouses. Zatanna has been adapted to screen in animated form as well as live-action TV in the likes of Smallville, but she’s never appeared on the big screen before. This movie will fix that. Maybe.
That indecision comes from the fact that this may all be headed to the streaming services of HBO Max. We already know that Abrams and Bad Robot are also developing a live-action Justice League Dark TV series for HBO Max. Know what Constantine and Zatanna have in common in the comics? Yep, both are very prominent members of the Justice League Dark, even taking turns to lead DC’s team of supernatural superheroes (Not to mention that the pair have been involved romantically). Could these two movies be part of a plan to build up to or spin out of Justice League Dark, establishing HBO Max’s own little DC Comics cinematic universe?
That actually makes the most sense, but interestingly DCU Mythic founder Jeremy Conrad elaborated on Twitter saying that he’s heard that Zatanna is a completely separate effort from what Abrams is doing with Constantine and Justice League Dark. Is WB really going to lean this hard into their rumoured plans of separate projects existing in one multiverse, even when certain titles just make sense to link up? Hopefully, we’ll get some kind of official clarification during next month’s DC FanDome online event.
Last Updated: July 7, 2020