Fox’s Gotham and The CW’s The Flash series are both up and running (no pun intended), but we’ve still got one more freshman DC TV show to look forward to this year. That would be Constantine, NBC’s upcoming small screen adaptation of the John Constantine character (with Matt Ryan bringing the dark arts dabbler to life) from writer and showrunner David S. Goyer (Man of Steel).
The program, which looks to blend supernatural horror and crime drama tropes (with a Noir-style protagonist), isn’t a surefire bet in the ratings race. However, promotional material has been promising – going off the mostly positive early reactions to the preview footage – and NBC has already gone ahead and ordered more Constantine episode scripts to be written – based on the assumption that they’ll be used in the future, naturally.
There’ve likewise been hints that the show will be quick to introduce elements that could allow for more DC characters to join the televised Constantine universe down the line. We interviewed Goyer at the 2014 New York Comic-Con and picked his brain for details on what the future might hold for Constantine (should it last long enough) – be it crossovers with other DC shows and/or the introduction of a Justice League Dark team for the series (see how Arrow and The Flash are setting up for a “Justice League on TV” in the future).
You can read the transcript for our interview with Goyer, below.
SCREEN RANT: Speaking of storylines, we all know that Constantine…with other characters like Zatanna, or any of the other DC magic people. Would it be possible to see Justice League Dark in any way, shape, or form? Would you want him to be a part of something like that?
GOYER: Yeah. I think you’ll see some of those…If the show takes off…even within the first 12 episodes we’ve introduced two or three characters from the broader DC universe that are not just exclusively from Hellblazer. Corrigan has been mentioned, but there’s a couple of other characters we haven’t talked about that will show up as well. If the show takes off and we get our back nine and come back a second season, we sort of have access to that whole corner of the occult universe. So, hopefully we’ll be introducing those characters as is appropriate.
SCREEN RANT: I know a lot of fans have a question about the structure of the master, just via TV or as it’s shaping up as a whole. You’ve got shows like Arrow, like Flash, like Supergirl from CBS. You’ve got Titans on TNT. You have Constantine on NBC. Different networks but all one studio company. I think a lot of fans are wondering is there room for movement even though these characters are on different networks, because they are under one master house? Could we see them interact?
GOYER: You know, never say never. There aren’t any immediate plans, but it would be interesting to try that, to do kind of an internetwork crossover. I think anything’s possible. But we have to get our sea legs first. We’ve gotta premiere in a couple of weeks, and hopefully the audience likes what we’ve got and then we’ll see.
SCREEN RANT: I know one of his biggest confrontations that everyone would love to see adapted on the screen was Constantine and Swamp Thing. Is that something that has been thrown around at all?
GOYER: It’s been thrown around. It’s not something I think we’d attempt in the first season. We need to make sure that we can pull off the special makeup effects. We don’t want to do a cheesy version of Swamp Thing. It’s a lot easier to do Dr. Occult or Zatanna or Jim Corrigan than it is to do Swamp Thing. So we’ll see.
Guillermo del Toro has been developing a Justice League Dark movie script for a while now, and just a couple months ago the filmmaker said he’s quite open to either casting the Constantine role anew or just having Ryan reprise the character from Goyer’s TV show. However, that project remains something of a long-shot right now, especially with del Toro setting to work on Pacific Rim 2 just as Constantine gets underway.
If the latter’s a ratings success in its debut season, then that would only improve the chances that a Justice League Dark team could be assembled on the small screen – with Ryan’s Constantine as a member – rather than in a film under del Toro’s guidance. Swamp Thing is also a property that’s been considered for a big screen adaptation in years past, but the titular character would be an obvious choice to join the Constantine universe (as mentioned in our Goyer interview) – again, should the show warrant the creature’s inclusion.
To sum it up: Constantine, as Goyer indicated, could end up bringing several members from DC Comics’ occult character collection to the small screen, if it becomes a hit. If it fails, then that still leaves the door open for projects like the Justice League Dark and Swamp Thing films to offer a more in-depth exploration of the supernatural side of the DC comic universe. We will know which is the case very soon, fortunately.
Constantine premieres with “Non Est Asylum” on October 24th, 2014 on NBC.