Constantine is hardly DC’s highest-profile character, but he’s apparently one of the most adaptable; HBO Max is prepping a new series for the character in partnership with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company, according to a report from Deadline.
The series will focus on a slightly younger version of John Constantine, the lead character from the Hellblazer comics. The creators are apparently looking for a non-white actor for the role. According to the report, the show will focus on the comic’s horror roots more than the religious focus that previous incarnations have generally focused on. Newcomer Guy Bolton is writing the pilot script, and the series will reportedly connect to HBO Max’s planned Justice League Dark, which Abrams is also producing.
John Constantine, DC’s master of the dark arts, first appeared in Saga of the Swamp Thing #37 in 1985, with his appearance based on British musician Sting. He appeared in live action first in the 2005 film Constantine, played by Keanu Reeves and laid dormant for almost a decade before NBC revived him for a television show of the same name. There, British actor Matt Ryan portrayed a more comics-accurate version of the character in the one-season show. After its abrupt cancelation, the CW worked out a deal to bring the character and actor over for a single appearance on Arrow, where he helped Sara Lance reclaim her soul after being revived in a Lazarus Pit. The character was popular enough that the CW’s timey-wimey superhero show DC’s Legends of Tomorrow brought Ryan on to reprise the character in season 3, and he’s been with the crew since.