Despite his chain-smoking habit, general lack of hygiene and rather abrasive personality, John Constantine succeeded in wooing a lot of ladies (and even a few men) over the course of Hellblazer‘s decades-long run. One of his very first romantic trysts was with Zed, a talented magical practitioner who was prominent in a couple of the series’ early story arcs and eventually became a powerful sorceress.
The pilot episode of NBC’s Constantine won’t feature Zed, Kit Ryan, Angie Spatchcock, or any other prominent female companions from the comics, but instead will star Lucy Griffiths as Liv, an original character created for the show. Unfortunately viewers probably shouldn’t get too attached to her, as it was recently reported that Griffiths’ character will be dropped after the pilot and that the new main female character in the show will be Zed.
Now NBC has revealed on Twitter that Angelica Celaya (Dead West) will play Zed, though it’s unclear whether she’ll also be adopting one of Zed’s creative hairstyles. Burn Notice fans may recognize Celaya from the season 6 episode “Official Business”, and she also guest-starred in recent episodes of Dallas. Celaya will be a series regular alongside lead actor Matt Ryan and the rest of the supporting cast, which includes Charles Halford as John’s old friend Chas Chandler and Harold Perrineau as an angel called Manny.
Zed isn’t the only supporting character from the Hellblazer comics who’s going to be making an appearance in Constantine; early reports suggested that Papa Midnite is going to be the main antagonist during the first season. However, the writers have to strike a balance between pleasing the relatively niche group of comic book fans who will be watching, without alienating viewers who aren’t familiar with the source material.
In an interview with IGN, executive producer Daniel Cerone revealed that they’re working on a way to bridge this gap by introducing classic DC character the Spectre.
“Look, I’m just bringing you in on the early creative discussions. It might happen, it might not… Within the context of episode five, we had a need for a police officer who sees that supernatural evils exist. Right there, okay, that’s an opportunity to introduce a DC character. So we talked to our DC representatives and we’re like what if we make this character Jim Corrigan, who goes on the become The Spectre.
“For those who don’t know, Jim Corrigan is a police officer who kind of takes the law into his own hands… he ends up dying and is reincarnated as The Spectre. So it’s a perfect opportunity for us, because we can name this character Jim Corrigan and within our story, for the general viewer, that works, because now Constantine has a friend on the force. For the comic book fan, ‘My god, that’s Jim Corrigan!’
“And we can get back to that character and can slowly develop that character and who knows, maybe there’s an opportunity in the future to even see the origin story unfold within the framework of our TV series. It creates opportunities and creatively you just have to go in and lay that groundwork in and try and let it unfold naturally. So we’re in the midst of approvals on that, but that’s one idea we’re exploring right now.”
It seems like Cerone has been taking tips from The CW’s Arrow, which first introduced Barry Allen as a forensic scientist who comes to Starling City to help out Oliver Queen and co. with an investigation, before showing the origin of his powers as a precursor to The Flash. When asked about the possibility of the Spectre getting his own spin-off series Cerone replied, “the sky’s the limit.” Obviously we’ll have to wait for Constantine to get off the ground first.
The Spectre has flirted with the small screen in the past. Back in 2011 Warner Bros. TV and Fox were said to be developing a TV series based on the character, which was to be scripted and executive produced by Brandon Camp (John Doe). The project appears to have fizzled out since then, though perhaps the script could still be dusted off if Jim Corrigan proves popular on Constantine.
There are a lot of characters from the DC universe who have crossed paths with Constantine frequently, though some are easier than others to create on a limited budget. Swamp Thing, for example, could prove to be a little tricky.
Constantine premieres Friday, October 24, 2014 @10pm on NBC.