NBC Planning ‘Constantine’ TV Series From David S. Goyer

Published 2 years ago by

Hellblzer John Constantine NBC Planning Constantine TV Series From David S. Goyer

On the ultimate list of Misguided Comic Book Movies, 2005′s Constantine ranks fairly high (alongside Watchmen, From Hell and that one with Shaq as Steel). Starring a miscast Keanu Reeves and directed by Catching Fire helmer Francis Lawrence, the film transplanted DC’s Hellblazer - the cult-favorite story of a cynical, chain-smoking occult detective with a wide humanist streak –  from London to L.A. and traded the comic’s Sting-lookalike main character for a leaden Neo with lung cancer (and Shia LeBeouf).

While the film is fun in the moment, the wild liberties taken with the source material made it almost universally reviled by fans of the comic book from the second it was released. The world of John Constantine – who first appeared as a supporting character in Swamp Thing – deserves another live-action adaptation, but Constantine’s reception muted all talk of that possibility… until now.

THR reports that NBC has made a script commitment for a new series based on the comic book, to be written by David S. Goyer, who wrote Man of Steel for Warner Bros. as well as co-writing the first two entries of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and is writing the movie currently known as Batman Vs. Superman

The show is being co-written by Daniel Cerone (executive producer of The Mentalist) and marks the latest announcement that a comic book property will get the small-screen treatment, following the news that Fox will air the Commissioner Gordon origin show Gotham Central

Keanu as John Constantine NBC Planning Constantine TV Series From David S. Goyer

The news comes on the heels of the series premiere of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and with CW’s popular Arrow returning for a second season – as well as serving as a launching pad for a show centered around The Flashwe appear to be heading into a new age of comic book television shows, for better or worse.

While Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. debuted to strong ratings, the overall experience was underwhelming, with many glaring problems from the outset. Arrow has striven for something darker in tone, a description which is particularly apt when it comes to Hellblazer. There is no word on whether or not the show will be adapted from the comic book or will function in conjunction with Guillermo del Toro’s proposed Justice League Dark movie (which could also feature John Constantine), but the smart money is on the former.

Justice League Dark Hellblazer NBC Planning Constantine TV Series From David S. Goyer

The whole notion of this series adaptation might give a Hellblazer fan pause, were it not for David S. Goyer’s involvement. Goyer has had his fair share of criticism, most recently revolving around the ending of Man of Steelbut now that enough time has passed since The Dark Knight Rises, we can reflect on that trilogy and come to the tentative conclusion that the final entry was not as strong as the first two films at least partially due to the fact that Goyer did not write it.

The Playlist recently revealed that it was Goyer who had to inform Nolan on what was canon while prepping Batman Begins – he understood what fans needed to see, and what could safely be modified without destroying the mythology. With that in mind, it seems like Hellblazer could be in far better hands this time around. And while Constantine is a character who has frequently crossed over into different DC franchises, it seems highly unlikely to expect this to happen on television, since Arrow, Gothan Central and the Constantine show will air on different networks.


There is no premiere date set for the television adaptation of Constantine but stay tuned for details as they become available.

Source: THR

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
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  1. As long as they can make it as dark as it needs to be I’m all in. I would love to see this stuff.

    • Very much agree it can’t be campy to work would have been nice if hbo/showtime picked it up

  2. I actually sort of enjoyed the Constantine film aha. Sounds pretty cool, I’ll for sure check this out. WB wasn’t kidding when they said they have a full array of DC announcement ahead lol.

  3. DC is blasting stuff out there now. I’m kinda excited about this. I liked the movie, even though it wasn’t as true to the comic as I would have liked it. I think they can do a pretty awesome Supernatural-like stuff with this show and maybe go a bit darker.

  4. Now this I’d watch! I hope it’s good… please be good.

  5. Anthony…

    I disagree with several of the presumptions you made in this article:

    I found “Watchmen” to be an excellent presentation of the graphic novel, with the added benefit of a MUCH better (read: not nearly as stupidly corny ultimate plan weapon as in the gn) ending than the graphic novel. While I would have enjoyed a more “Sting-like” Constantine with more nasty, selfish humor, I DID appreciate the dark, hopeless essence of Keanu-Constantine’s world and enjoyed the film, overall. I loved “The Dark Knight Rises” and actually thought it was better (though, admittedly, not by much) than TDK, thus ending the excellent Nolan/Bale Trilogy brilliantly.

    Now, all that said, I fervently hope THIS does come to pass, as a more comic-book-based Constantine would be cool to see, especially in a small-screen format where more of his story could be presented weekly…

    • While the ending of Watchmen wasn’t as 80′s-style as the graphic novel and probably served a more modern audience better, having it be Dr. Manhattan that gets blamed for everything ruined the the larger point of the graphic novel and largely his character. I enjoyed the Constantine movie as well. It was fun. I understand the criticisms though. He was sort of a different character with the same name.

      As much as I’m glad TDKR movie was successful because I’m a huge Batman fan, I don’t understand how people liked it. More than that, how can you say it was better than TDK? Nolan may have done great things for Batman after George Clooney’s nipples graced the scree, but he brought him down in many other respects. I get that his story was about the man not the superhero, but Batman failed at just about everything in that movie. Plot holes galore, that movie was rife with inconsistency and forced plot points. There was nothing brilliant about it. It was sloppy. Again, I’m glad it was successful and you can talk about all the money it made all day long, but at the end of the day, Nolan’s Batman was pathetic and weak in comparison to the Batman in the stories from which Nolan drew.

      I too hope for this Constantine show to come to pass. I think DC is right getting a less mainstream character out there in episodic format. Can’t wait to see more of it.

      • +1000 for everything you said.

      • I agree Onerios about Nolans Batman.

      • Oneiros…

        Then, I guess we simply differ in our perceptions and interpretations. I found the framing of Dr. Manhattan actually enhanced his character arc and highlighted perfectly the misguided betrayal by Ozymandias and the running themes of the whole story…certainly much better, in my mind, than using the mockery of the alien squid threat that appeared in the comic. In terms of the differences between the film and comic versions of Constantine, I too understood why fans might find those differences unappealing, but they did not ruin MY enjoyment of the film. As for TDKR, it’s okay if you don’t understand why people loved the film or why they found it brilliant…you are not them. I loved the flow of the story, as well as the story being told, in and of itself. The characters and their portrayals were intriguing. These plot holes people keep complaining about…weren’t. I found the story also connected wonderfully and effectively with the two previous films and closed out the trilogy perfectly. You don’t think it was brilliant? Fine. I do. Neither opinion is better than the other…and that is ALL they are–opinions. I never talked about the money…I AM, of course, happy it was so successful. It deserved to be. Nolan’s Batman was blunt and idealistic. Ultimately, he survived…but he managed to hold on to his humanity despite the various trials and tragedies that very nearly broke him. The Nolan trilogy celebrated the long line of stories from which the films drew their inspiration.

      • Examples of plot holes on TDKR please? And don’t say how did he get back to Gotham. Im sorry not everything is speller out for u making the movie 5 hours long.

      • Christian Bale did Batman the best. Not sure how it was “pathetic.” Another example of a comic fan who is never happy with what they get. You guys complain about everything and usually after the fact. Lii after Spider-man 3 suddenly Tobey Maguire is an awful Spider-Man. Or now after the dark knight trilogy the movies weren’t that good and Bale was awful. Jeez whatever. I will just enjoy these movies while guys like u r constantly unsatisfied.

        • In TDKR, he was beyond pathetic. He would have had to grown at least a small pair to be “upgraded” to merely pathetic.

  6. I am encouraged by this as well and the fact that they have an accomplished writer onboard makes this all the more better. Supernatural type shows seem to be doing well on television such as Supernatural, Grimm and the newly minted Sleepy Hollow. I think (I hope) this gets off on the right foot. Definitely has some serious potential….

  7. I have not read the comic books that this movie was based on, however, I enjoyed the movie alot. One of my favorites actually! I am just worried that the series wont be true to form! I agree with the HBO comment however these days not alot of people can enjoy these luxuries! I will watch the pilot and give it a fair chance!

    • If it can explore Hell and John’s constant fight with not only demons but the fact that he accidentally killed people while summoning a demon while on tour with his punk band as a teenager then prepare to be amazed.

      Plus with Constantine’s prior relationship with Zatanna and coming face to face with Dream from Gaiman’s Sandman series, Swamp Thing and others, the potential for cross-over stories with other shows and movies is pretty huge.

      • @ Dazz

        I’d love to see a similar setup to Arrow in which we get to see little tidbits of stuff like punk band in every episode like Arrow does with the island.

        I’m glad you mentioned Sandman. I really hope they adapt it to something like an HBO series or even Netflix. That’s the kind of story that’s perfect for Netflix.

  8. I’m on board, it’s about time we had a decent adapation. Is he still going to be a Scouser or will they give him a more generic English accent?

  9. David S. Goyer did not write any of the dark knight. That was the Nolan brothers. David S. Goyer is a mediocre script writer at best. The unborn, jumper, blade: trinity? He wrote horrible movies like these and he wrote the biggest disappointment of the summer, MoS. That whole script was terrible, especially in the third act. Don’t ever give him credit for the awesomeness that is The Dark Knight.

    • @ Dexter

      Goyer wrote the story. The Nolan brothers wrote the screenplay. big difference.

      • +1
        I love how people don’t even comment on the actual topic of the article, instead they just spread blind hate.

        • I would call it blind ignorance, but your point is still valid.

  10. They should cast Sting :) Being serious this seems like a win.

  11. Anyone who thinks Goyer is a genius should try to watch Blade Trinity…if they can even sit through it.

    • Your living in the past bro.

      • The past is the only thing we can really judge things by.

  12. Expect one more show for HBO.

  13. I dunno, I will definitely miss the holy grenade launcher, and how it proved that they can make a more ridiculous weapon than Van Helsing’s automatic crossbow.

  14. I’m on board as long as it’s the dark version and not the camp, movie version. I will need to see a trailer to really know though

  15. Absolutely loved Constantine and I’m still disappointed a sequel will never be made. People didn’t like Watchmen? Well, that’s news to me, maybe it’s because I don’t know anyone who’s read the source material. Still, this “Constantine” idea can only be good.

  16. this is good news, makes me think every movie will have a T.V. series

  17. One i like Constantine it was few good keanu movies. Two agents of shield just showed there pilot give it time to grow, remember in joss we trust lol. Three i liked watchmen i am just miffed if all these dc shows are connected if not they seem like a cash grab

  18. I dont really watch NBC, but can someone please tell me if NBC is a good channel and it will do Constantine right this time. I mean does NBA have good quality shows or what because i do not know

    • Apparently Hannibal is really good and very gory, so I’ve heard. And if Supernatural can get away with beheading vampires, leviathans, and other monsters then I’ll still have hope for this.

  19. Reeves didn’t look the part but the only problem I had with the movie was Shia Lebouef. Excited for a show though.

  20. It’ll be a shame if the Del Toro film never gets made. I’m not 100% sold on Goyer since he can be a bit hit-and-miss. I wonder if Robert Pattinson’s busy at the moment…

  21. They will need to be careful because they already have Grim on NBC and CW has Supernatural still going strong. The questions is gonna become how to keep the show interesting with so many other badasses hunting supernatural beasts. Mr. Constantine has his work cut out for him on trying to find an audience.

  22. I liked Constantine, Watchmen and From Hell. There, I said it.

    • Is that a bad thing? I like all three films, too.

  23. Constantine was a fun movie, although I had never heard of the comic so I didn’t have that to compare it too. Good luck to the TV series. I’m always weary of something from cinema making its way down to TV because it’s always like the “lite” version. I guess there’s more room for character growth though.

  24. Watchmen is one of the better CBM’s out there. No other movie sticks closer to the source material than that one. My only disagreement with the article.

  25. Where is my Booster Gold tv show that I was promised?!?!?

    I will be watching this show with bated breath since it is on NBC and they don’t have the best track record with science fiction shows…Surface, Bionic Woman, the Cape, the Event, Knight Rider, My Own Worst Enemy, and plenty more…including cancelling Star Trek: TOS after 3 seasons.

  26. Is this John Constantine from Justice league dark or something else? if they did dark then i’m in second favourite omic book series after the real mc’coy!

  27. this is not an affront on Goyer because I’m a fan of his, but do these execs realize that their are other writers capable of writing good CB scripts. I’m just saying, Goyer is on like every piece of DC material coming out.

    • Exactly my thought. WB and DC are really piling everything on him, they needa get at least one more writer.

  28. I would have been worried if it weren’t for a little show called hannibal that nbc was willing to take a chance with, i do hope that this turns as a “pushing the envelope” type of show, like they were willing to do with hannibal maybe even make have it on same night…but like i said that’s what I’m hoping.