HBO Max news: ‘Constantine’ comes back with a diverse cast
HBO Max is going all-in on DC comic adaptations with a darker reboot of the 2005 film Constantine. HBO Max began with a Watchman series and added a DMZ adaptation in November. The Constantine reboot is actually the second project coming from JJ Abrams and his production company Bad Robot. Abrams is also working on Justice League Dark.
There is no announcement about how could be replacing Keanu Reeves in the Constantine reboot. However, a new diverse cast is coming.
What is Constantine about
Constantine is based on the Hellblazer comic by DC, first released in 1988. The line features 300 comics and over forty specials. The series never reached the height of their mainstream comics like “Batman”, “Superman”, or “Wonder Woman”. However, the Hellblazer comic line enjoyed a great reception and has a dedicated fan base.
The series follows John Constantine in an occult detective adventure set in a magical & supernatural version of the DC Universe. While set in the same universe, mainstream characters rarely showed up, but characters like Swamp Thing & Phantom Stranger made appearances.
While the comic enjoys continued success, the 2005 film adaptation did not. While fans enjoyed the film, it did not go over well with critics. Constantine has a 46% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics, while fans gave it a 72%. The general consensus from fans & critics is the adaptation tries to tread on The Matrix (Keanu Reeves’s more popular film) and falls flat.
Other Constantine reboots
Since the movie premiere in 2005, Hellblazer has been rebooted twice. The first was as a TV show for NBC in 2014, which only lasted one season. The other time was in Arrow. Matt Ryan played John Constantine for both NBC and CW shows.
While the character was only in one episode of Arrow, he was a series regular in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Matt Ryan’s Constantine was in thirty-five out of the ninety-two episodes through seven seasons.
HBO Max’s reboot
WarnerMedia announced a brand-new reboot for John Constantine as a series on HBO Max. The new home makes a lot more sense. Hellblazer was always a darker comic, and a series would benefit from an HBO spin over a CW one.
According to Deadline, JJ Abrams production company Bad Robot is developing the reboot for HBO Max, but to the extent he’s actually involved is yet to be seen. According to Variety, the new show will tie into the Justice League Dark show which Abrams is an executive producer on, so he might be more involved.
The only other person attached to the show is Guy Bolton, a new writer who wrote The Pictures, which sold to David Mackenzie and his production company Sigma Films. According to multiple outlets, Bolton is hoping to open the writers’ room in March while searching for their lead. According to Deadline, they’re looking for a diverse lead.
What is HBO Max’s reboot about
According to Variety, HBO Max’s Constantine reboot will be a prequel. The show will center on John Constantine as a young Londoner and focus on the horror elements of the show over the religious aspects.
JJ Abrams and Bad Robot taking on Constantine make a lot of sense. John Constantine was a member of Justice League Dark, the other DC comics adaptation under his tutelage. However, another member of Justice League Dark is Swamp Thing which DC had a show about on DC Universe.
It’s one of the only DC Universe shows that didn’t make the jump from the failing streaming service over to HBO Max. The weird thing is DC Universe canceled the show shortly after premiering on the streaming service despite earning a 92% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Hopefully, HBO Max will bring back the show after the CW’s distribution deal is over.
But what do you think? Who should play John Constantine in a new reboot of Constantine? Should Keanu Reeves come back? Let us know in the comments.