Though he’s probably best known for his work on movies like The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel, writer and producer David S. Goyer has also done a significant amount of work in television on shows including FlashForward and Blade: The Series. His latest project is also a TV show: Constantine, a series based on the “Hellblazer” comics that were published under DC’s Vertigo imprint and, more recently, the “Constantine” reboot that has been incorporated into the New 52.
The project has been in development for several months and NBC recently ordered a pilot episode, the story for which was conceived by Goyer and Daniel Cerone (The Mentalist) and scripted by Cerone. If all goes well, the show could be aired as early as fall 2014.
Constantine is now one step closer to production, according to Deadline‘s report that Neil Marshall has been chosen to direct the pilot. This news also comes with a synopsis for the show, though it’s unclear whether this was the exact wording given by the studio:
“Constantine centers on John Constantine, an enigmatic and irreverent con man-turned-reluctant supernatural detective who is thrust into the role of defending us against dark forces from beyond.”
Marshall seems like an ideal pick to bring to life material as laden in horror and the supernatural as the “Hellblazer” comics. The director first gained attention with his gory, tongue-in-cheek werewolf movie Dog Soldiers, then followed it up with the supremely creepy horror film The Descent, in which a group of spelunkers go exploring an uncharted cave system and are attacked by blind, mutated underground predators.
Fans who are hoping that Constantine will have the same setting as the comics should also feel heartened by the fact that a British director is handling the pilot. While a relocation to the US wouldn’t necessarily stand in the way of Constantine becoming a great show, both the character and the comics have a distinctly British flavor to them. Even though the show is produced by an American network, it could easily be set and filmed in England.
Interestingly, Marshall’s more recent experience suggests that this could be what NBC is planning. He’s recently been making the move from film into television, having directed the pilot episode for Starz’ Black Sails (read our review) and the acclaimed “Blackwater” penultimate episode from season 2 of Game of Thrones (he’s returning for season 4) – two US shows which are filmed overseas with largely British casts.
Aside from the location issue, one of the other main concerns that fans have had is whether or not NBC will allow the show to contain the same kind of mature content as the comics. Bryan Fuller’s gruesome serial killer drama Hannibal seems to set a good precedent for some of the more bloody horror elements, but portraying sex or nudity might be more of a problem.
For example, at Comic-Con last year Fuller recalled an incident where the network told him that one of the shots used – of a naked couple who had been partially flayed with the skin from their backs stretched out to form wings – was unacceptable due to the fact that the corpse’s butts were visible. As a compromise, Fuller offered to fill their buttcracks in with blood in order to make the shot less offensive. NBC said that this would be fine.
Perhaps something like this could work in Constantine as well; any time a character is in the nude they could use some entrails or a decapitated head to cover up the important bits. Like a fig leaf, except more bloody.
Constantine is expected to air on NBC in 2014/2015.