Comic book characters – particularly superheroes – have dominated the box office for the past decade. Now the halftone heroes are poised for a television takeover as well, with hit series Arrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and The Walking Dead already on the airwaves, and The Flash, Gotham and Constantine soon to follow. (Not to mention that original programming deal between Marvel and Netflix.)
Developments surrounding these new series have been coming swiftly. Constantine, for instance, has been steadily adding to its creative team since NBC first announced they were developing a show based on the DC Comics character. But most importantly, it was revealed that this version of the character would stick closer to its source material and feature a blond and British John Constantine as opposed to a dark-haired American (a la the 2005 film featuring Keanu Reeves). Now we know who’s been cast in the role.
According to Deadline, it’s little known actor Matt Ryan (Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior). Along with Ryan’s casting, this news has provided us with a more defined character description for NBC’s John Constantine. Read it below:
“[A] working-class Londoner with rakish good looks, scruffy blond hair, deadpan humor, and signature trench coat, who has been studying the dark arts since he was a teenager.”
Ryan wasn’t a name included on our list of actors who could play Constantine, but he’s hardly a case of miscasting. And, okay, so he’s not naturally blond or from London, but it’s already more accurate to the source material than Keanu was. His largest role to date has been on the Criminal Minds spinoff, but to the gaming crowd, Ryan will be more familiar as the voice of protagonist Edward Kenway in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.
Combine the detective work of a procedural drama with the intensity and action of a pirate on the high seas, throw in some horror and a touch of the supernatural and you can see where Ryan’s casting could come from. Besides, starting with a less established actor is a good step toward giving Constantine a fresh start – something this series will need if it wants to separate itself from the previous cinematic iteration.
With Ryan finalizing his deal to star, NBC’s Constantine pilot is beginning to take shape. Are you pleased with the direction it’s taking? What do you make of Ryan as their choice for the supernatural sleuth? Let us know in the comments below!
Constantine is currently in development and will air on NBC.