NBC Head Talks ‘Constantine’ & Potential DC Show Crossovers

Published 1 year ago by , Updated January 20th, 2014 at 11:33 pm,

Hellblazer cover NBC Head Talks Constantine & Potential DC Show Crossovers

NBC’s dark and beautiful first season of Hannibal has won the network much respect for its ability to create high-quality horror television, but whether this is a fluke or a trend will be determined by the upcoming Constantine TV show that was optioned last year and got a pilot order last week. David S. Goyer (Man of Steel) and Daniel Cerone (The Mentalist) co-wrote the script and it shouldn’t be too long before production gets underway.

For the uninitiated, “Hellblazer” is a fairly long-running comic book series from DC about a coarse and dry-witted British magician called John Constantine, who straddles the border between hero and anti-hero as he delves into the world of the supernatural and faces off against all manner of demons and monsters. He’s not the most family-friendly of protagonists – partly because of his hard drinking/smoking and partly because of his hazy morals and knack for creating collateral damage – but he has a strong fanbase who were saddened when “Hellblazer” was cancelled in 2012 and the older Constantine was retired in favor of a younger, hipper version who took over in the New 52 title “Constantine.”

Generally speaking the best people to talk to about an upcoming show are the people who are actually on the creative team, but nonetheless IGN was able to glean some details from NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt. With The CW’s Arrow throwing new DC heroes and villains into the mix almost every week, IGN asked whether the Constantine pilot would be taking this direction or whether it would focus on the supernatural and horror elements of the comics. Greenblatt’s reply was vague but promising.

“I don’t know the DC comic very well… There is dark, interesting stuff in it, but it’s also got some witty banter. It’s a fun tone, although the supernatural stuff is scary.”

The 2005 movie adaptation of “Hellblazer,” Constantine, uprooted the story from its British home and cast Keanu Reeves into the lead role, and it might be hoped that Goyer and Cerone are willing to stick a little closer to comic book canon. Failing the creation of a fully UK-based show, however, Constantine could also affect a similar formula to CBS’s Elementary and drop the cynical scouse magician into an American setting. A fairly lengthy arc of “Hellblazer” was dedicated to John Constantine taking a road trip through America and the result was a run of a thoroughly enjoyable stories, though they unfortunately lacked the usual crew of supporting characters.

John Constantine profile NBC Head Talks Constantine & Potential DC Show Crossovers

Since “Hellblazer” belongs to DC’s darker and more supernatural-focused Vertigo imprint, Constantine doesn’t cross paths with the likes of Green Arrow or Batman too often. However, shared universes are all the rage at the moment thanks to Marvel’s string of comic book movie successes, and with Arrow performing successfully and Fox’s detective show Gotham on the way, IGN asked Greenblatt about the likelihood of a crossover with one or both of the other DC shows. He didn’t sound convinced.

“Cross-network is really hard. It’s hard enough to do it within your network. I think let us see how the pilot goes before we answer that question!”

Since we’re still waiting for any news of Guillermo del Toro’s Justice League Dark movie getting a green light – and the wait could go on indefinitely – a “Hellblazer” show could be a great showcase for other DC characters like Swamp Thing, Madame Xanadu, Shade or even Sandman. Of course, the latter is also getting his own movie courtesy of Warner Bros. and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

With little currently known about the upcoming show, let’s file it away under things that we’re cautiously optimistic for, and hope for more news on its lead and setting soon.


We’ll bring you the latest news on Constantine as it becomes available.

Source: IGN

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  1. DC/WB is starting to make the same mistakes with their properties just like Marvel did in the 90’s. WB/DC has Arrow on the CW (Which the WB owns I think?), now you have ‘Gotham’ over at fox, and lastly, Constantine at NBC. It is great we are getting lesser known characters on the telly but long term it could be bad for them. Why? There is no way NBC and CW for example would play ball together and allow Arrow and Constantine to have a crossover. And the same goes with Fox, sadly. WB/DC need to find one network that wants to play ball long term and host all their potential properties and build whatever they want in the future.

    I know, I know. “There is no way one network could financially support 3 different shows.” The same ordeal that is going on Marvel properties being owned by different companies. I just hope they don’t put themselves in the same place that Marvel is in now.

    • At least they still own their properties and if I’m not mistaken it’s still made by WB studios. So if the network says no to a cross over they can move it to one of their networks.

      • You seem to think cross-overs are exciting – maybe they are to you :) – and money-making, but are they really? All we have to go with is the funky BO figures of The Avengers, BO figures that are absolutely not believable when you look at the bottom line of the studio…

        Hollywood has been snowing us with faker and faker BO reports for the past 15 years.

        The sad thing is that their own executives, who do know better, actually act as if they believed them.

    • I think this is more of a financial move in which they can say to a network, “well, if you don’t renew the contract for another season we will go to this network because they already have one of our products running.” Then again, it may not be, LOL

    • Frankly, I think they are doing the “right thing” as far as monetizing their properties.

      Hollywood executives like Bob Greenblatt are completely bereft of any inclination towards original creation and have been brainwashed by their own faked Box Office numbers into thinking the US public just loves comic book adaptations (all TV ratings to the contrary – see the flops of Arrow and Agent of SHIELD) even as the comic book industry itself is a mere shadow of what it was even ten years ago.

      They are therefore right to sell everything they can while the blind executives will buy.

  2. I could not disagree more about Hannibal having bought NBC respect.

    First of all, it’s not an NBC production (it’s foreign pick-up) and it failed miserably in the ratings (it wasn’t because people liked it!)

    I had high hopes in Robert Greenblatt. He came in talking the talk and with Comcast making noises about putting an end to the mindlessly self-destructive ageism that had befallen NBC, I was really hoping the network would change.

    Alas, Bob Greenblatt only continued the same line as his predecessors: using the same losing producers again and again, relying on remakes (like Constantine), adaptaitons, (like Constantine) and anything that isn’t original.

    The results were dreadful and it’s incomprehensible how Comcast wasted that golden opportunity to rebound and why Greenblatt is still in power at NBC given his dreadful track record there (he is on the way to equal Jeff Zucker in audience losses albeit from a smaller base).

  3. “I don’t know the DC comic very well… There is dark, interesting stuff in it, but it’s also got some witty banter. It’s a fun tone, although the supernatural stuff is scary.”

    reading this line of his already lets me lose all hope !
    He has no idea what they are doing !

  4. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Hellblazer a Dark Horse comic and not DC? Why would they crossover to begin with?

    • Actually it’s Vertigo/DC comics.

  5. All I want is some Zatanna

  6. Gotham can get bend it’s horrible.

    Constantine and Arrow/flash could insect very easily. Someone steals Dr. Fates helmet John tracks it to Starling or Central City. The heroes are awe-struck that magic is real… but will the networks play ball that is the question, and then who gets Doctor Fate?