2005’s Constantine came in for plenty of stick for the things it changed about the character and his world, most notably for installing Keanu Reeves instead of the blond Sting-alike comics fans had gotten used to. Now DC and Warner Bros. TV are looking to redress at least that issue, announcing actor Matt Ryan as the TV version of the character.
Looking to find another success to sit alongside Smallville and the more recent Arrow, the companies have DC go-to adapter David S. Goyer and presumed showrunner Daniel Cerone working on a pilot script that would explore the enigmatic, caustic and powerful supernatural detective’s world - and, we hope, that won't shave off too many of his sharp angles in the process. At least the pilot’s character is described as British, even if he has switched a Liverpudlian origin for a London tone. And Ryan’s British, so that’s another step forward.
Whether anyone can truly bottle the sheer dark joy of the character remains to be seen. The legendary Alan Moore created John Constantine in 1985, as a supporting character in his famous Swamp Thing run. It was Swamp Thing's title, but the scene-stealing Constantine immediately became the story's engine, installing himself essentially as Swamp Thing's manager in an arc involving the Brujeria: a black magic chaos cult who had quietly taken over the world and were next intent on the destruction of Heaven.
From the looks of it, this one will at least produce a pilot and, if that passes muster, should be on screen later this year. For more on Hellblazer, check out our feature here.