Comic book hero John Constantine has already been adapted into a movie starring Keanu Reeves and a short lived NBC TV show that ran for a season back in 2014.
Now, HBO is rebooting the franchise for its streaming service HBO Max, with a new series that may finally capture the dark majesty of the DC Comics star. Here’s all we know so far about Constantine.
When is the release date of the new Constantine TV show?
The announcement of HBO’s new adaptation only came in April 2021, so it looks like it will be at least the first half of 2022 before we get to see the character return to our screens.
What is the plot of the new Constantine TV show?
As the project is so early in its development, there’s no news yet on which storylines the show will follow. There’s a long history to draw from, with the character first appearing in issue 37 of The Saga of Swamp Thing back in 1985.
After that Constantine starred in his own series, called Hellblazer, that ran for over 300 issues, spanning 25 years. Since then it’s been rebooted as Constantine, Constantine: The Hellblazer, The Hellblazer, and currently goes by John Constantine: Hellblazer.
In all these series, the titular character is a British detective who specialises in the occult. He comes from a long lineage of powerful sorcerers, but often chooses to use his cunning to overcome the various enemies he faces. These have included the devil, the king of the vampires, and a powerful demon called Nergal whom Constantine summoned to try and save a young girl’s life, but brought terrible consequences instead.
Always know for his signature trench coast and continual smoking, Constantine is a cynical, disillusioned figure that somehow still finds it in his heart to try to help people. Perhaps his most famous story, as was alluded to in the Keane Reeves movie, is when he tricks the First of the Fallen (essentially Satan) out of claiming the soul of his dying friend.
This leads to the furious demon promising Constantine unendurable torture when he goes to hell. This is exacerbated when the detective is diagnosed with lung cancer, causing him to search desperately for not only a way to stave off his existential threat, but also keep out of the clutches of the First of the Fallen.
Constantine is also one of the key members of the Justice League Dark, an alternative group to the more famous Justice League, which deals primarily with occult and supernatural cases. There’s already a TV adaptation of Justice League Dark in development, so it would seem very likely that the new Hellblazer series links heavily into it.
If you like dark, gritty, morally ambiguous adventures with a supernatural edge, then Constantine should be at the top of your ‘to-watch’ list.
Who are the cast and crew of the new Constantine TV show?
Cast details remain a mystery at the time of writing, but interestingly it has been stated that the production does intend to cast a person of colour in the main role. This is likely to cause chagrin among the comic-book purists who will point to the fact that the characters’ visage was based on the musician Sting. But hopefully the show will live up to its source material, and these moans will quickly fade away.
J.J.Abrams will produce the show. This brings a Hollywood heavyweight to the scene, after he oversaw the recent reboot of the Star Trek and Star Wars movie franchises, not to mention producing the last few Mission: Impossible instalments. This should work well, as Abrams is also at the helm of the Justice League Dark show.
British writer Guy Bolton has signed up to write the pilot episode. His gritty Detective Craine novels, set in 1930s Hollywood, have been nominated for awards, and the first book The Pictures is currently being adapted into a movie of its own.
Where can I watch the new Constantine TV show?
American viewers will be able to watch John Constantine on streaming service HBO Max, so long as they have a subscription.
For those in Europe and other territories, the most likely avenue is through Sky or Now TV, as they host many existing shows from the network giant.
See how to watch HBO Max outside the US for more details.