5 Actors Who Could Play John Constantine in NBC’s ‘Hellblazer’ TV Show

Published 6 months ago by This is a list post.

Who Should Play John Constantine

John Constantine cover by Tim Bradstreet Comic books are officially taking over both movies and television, so perhaps it's no surprise that even a niche character like Hellblazer's John Constantine is getting his own TV show on NBC, courtesy of Man of Steel writer David S. Goyer and The Mentalist's executive producer Daniel Cerone. At this point we know nothing about the pilot beyond the names of the writers and NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt's description of it as "dark" but "fun." Since NBC's Constantine could be young or old and may not even be a Brit, here are the actors that we think would be best equipped to capture the spirit of the role.

Stephen Graham

Stephen Graham in 'The Crew' Boasting an acting range that has taken him from the gritty, harsh world of 1980s British white nationalism in This is England to the fast-paced fantasy adventure of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Stephen Graham is an accomplished TV actor who would be well-equipped to hit the various beats of Constantine's complex personality. Like Constantine, Graham was born is Merseyside but has affected a range of both British and American regional accents for various roles, meaning that he could easily adapt to whichever setting and character background Goyer and Cerone decide to go for. He's not a bad fit for a mid-career Constantine and - as the picture opposite shows - he looks good in a trenchcoat.

Callum Blue

Callum Blue as Major Zod in 'Smallville' In recent memory, British actor Callum Blue is best known for playing General Zod on The CW's Smallville, which means that he's already had a cursory initiation into the DC universe. What makes him stand out as a strong candidate for the John Constantine role, however, is his performance as undead petty criminal Mason in Bryan Fuller's grim reaper dramedy Dead Like Me. A talented comedic actor who can also handle heavy emotional scenes with subtlety, Blue would be a great choice for a protagonist whose abrasive humor and charm lights up even the darkest of supernatural horror plots.

Iain Glen

Iain Glen in 'Game of Thrones' Game of Thrones star Iain Glen would be a prime pick for a latter-day Constantine, and not just because he looks the part. This Scottish actor has a great deal of experience in TV, movies, and on the stage, so it's easy to imagine him as the angry and world-weary magician who has literally been to hell and back. Going with an actor like Glen would also open the show up to exploring some of the later Hellblazer storylines, including Constantine's return to Ravenscar and the discovery of his long-lost brother. This would also be a great opportunity for flashbacks to his younger life, with another actor taking on the role of young Constantine.

Paul Bettany

Paul Bettany in Firewall Blond-haired, blue-eyed Brit Paul Bettany could have been born to play the role of John Constantine. His attempted forays into supernatural fantasy - including Legion and Priest, most recently - haven't panned out too well but they are evidence of his attraction to the genre and a TV show could be just the place for him to finally spread his wings. At 42 years old Bettany is a good fit for an experienced but not yet over-the-hill Constantine. He's currently providing the voice of Tony Stark's back-chatting artificial intelligence computer JARVIS in the Marvel movie franchise, but there's no reason he can't spend some time in the DC universe as well.

Ryan Kwanten

Ryan Kwanten as Eddie Brock in 'Truth in Journalism' Leaning towards the younger, sexier end of Constantine's career - which, let's face it, is the end that NBC is most likely to go for - True Blood's Ryan Kwanten looks the part and, given his talent for accents, could play the role as either an American or British Constantine depending on what the showrunners are looking for. One interesting direction that Goyer and Cerone could take, if they do choose to portray a youthful Constantine, is to cover his punk band years and the trauma that eventually landed him in Ravenscar. It would certainly make for a powerful opening season, and Kwanten would be ideal for a younger and more naive version of the character.

Honorable Mentions

Sad Keanu Sting - The original inspiration for Constantine's look only has a few acting credits to his name, but at least deserves a mention. Keanu Reeves - He did a decent job in 2005's Constantine, which was also an OK film despite failing to really capture the spirit of the comics. James Van Der Beek - Hey, it could work. Those are our picks, but don't keep quiet about your own. Tell us in the comments which actor you think would be perfect for the role of John Constantine.
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  1. Keanu Reeves looks so sad…

  2. Since True Blood is ending, Ryan Kwanten might be available. The Dead Like Me guy is good too. The others are probably too busy…

  3. i really want the chain smoker with the english accent but i doubt he will smoke and the americans cant understand any accent so we wont get any of it… wonder if he will have a long coat…

    • Yes your right, no smoking no drinking no sex, mild violence, not to dark,
      whats the point really!

      • Agree !
        Whats the point ?
        If it would be on HBO or AMC it would be a much better fit !
        True Detective smokes a lot and is mature enough !
        But then NBC has Hanibal !

  4. Idris Elba

    • YES! Thank you, now I don’t have to say it.

    • Will Yun Lee

  5. The dude who played zod in smallsville looks the part as well as the guy who acted in the films legion and priest would do nicely in the role.

  6. Callum Blue

  7. Callum Blue and Iain Glen would both be fine choices in my opinion, but with Daniel Cerone’s involvement, I’d toss Simon Baker’s name into the ring too. I suspect The Mentalist won’t be on the air by the time this show rolls out. It could be a good change of pace for him.

    I don’t see Keanu having what it takes to stick to a series schedule. Nothing against the guy, he just doesn’t seem to have either the dedication to his craft or the attention span to shoot 22+ episodes in a row. I’d love to see him reprise the role in the Justice League Dark movie, but I also respect other SR users’ opinions of going with an actor who’s closer to the comic book model of the character.

  8. Neil Patrick Harris haha I’m just kidding

    • Funny thing is the Neil somewhat resembles the above image.

  9. How is James Marsters not on this list? Other than being a vampire, Spike from Buffy practically IS John Constantine.

    • Not disagreeing with you, but that fact might make the character too close to the wheelhouse for him. Just a thought…

    • That’s why he’s not on the list, unfortunately. It would be very difficult for Marsters to play Constantine without it just coming across as a Spike retread.

  10. Definitely Paul Bettany

  11. I wouldn’t mind the true blood guy He seems like he could live up to the role. Also Callum Blue he would do a good of the character. But for some reason I can see James Masters as John. When he played Spike they made his hair blonde plus his character smoked on Buffy. If i had the opportunity to do a show/movie of the character I James always popped in my head as the lead. What do you guys think? Am I the only one who thought of James?

  12. You’re gonna scoff this BUT watch something serious he did other than Doctor Who. That being said David Tennant

    • He has a new show coming out next season on Fox, I believe; an Americanized version of his ‘Broadchurch’ series.

  13. That first actor doesn’t really fit the part he is more short and stocky rather than tall and slim.. That movie this is England he does give one hell of a performance

  14. Robert Sheenan

  15. Paul Bettany or Callum Blue…
    or of course………….Idris Elba

  16. My pick, Kevin McKidd.

  17. Out of this list Brittany would be my pick. My personal recommendations would be David Tennant or Guy Pearce.

  18. It’s a tie, Blue or Bettany

  19. The first name that popped in my head when I saw that cover pic was Bill Burr. After seeing him in Breaking Bad, I think he’d be great.

  20. I feel like Ben Foster would make for a great John Constantine. He is a very talented actor and believe he has the appropriate range that would be essential for this kind of character. Plus I can totally see him donning the trench coat and chain smoking away.

  21. Michael Anthony Hall…

  22. ….dwanye…no just messing with you. Blue could be awesome as john. Bettany may be to high profile for the show but he is ideal.

  23. Max Beesley, John was from Liverpool and Max’s Manchester accent isn’t far off, plus he kicks ass in Survivors which is huge on Netflix right now.

    • I must add being from liverpool the accents between scousers(Liverpool) and mancs (manchester) are very different, its a criminal offence to say they sound alike, if not it should be :)

      • very sorry, and I agree very different but closer than a middle class southern english accent or a Californian one, I didn’t think he should do it in a manc accent but try and pull off scouse, Manchester is only about 30 miles away from Liverpool so not far off in my book as I live out in the sticks and my nearest supermarket is almost that far away.

    • Being from Manchester, (and residing in Liverpool) I am utterly offended by your comment.

  24. Awesome list! Callum Blue, Paul Bettany, dude from True Blood or hell even Aaron Paul

  25. Ryan Kwanten is better for a TV Show. …Paul Bettany is better for a Movie

  26. First of all back when they initially started casting for the movie before getting Keanu I said that Paul Bettany would be perfect and Guy Ritchie should direct it…for those who don’t know Bettany was in a film called Gangster #1 where he played a young gangster and a Malcolm McDowell as him but older..if they casted Bettany then have McDowell as himself in the future..or vice versa..Besides with more English actors coming to the states Bettany would be foolish not to have a steady paycheck…

  27. Idris Elba! ‘Nuff said!

  28. what about nikolaj coster-waldau (jamie lanister in got) i read the hellblazer comics recently and thought he would be a good fit.

  29. Keanu did an AMAZING job. Not OK. Why are people always hating on Keanu? Reeves is making bank for a reason. If anyone should do the series it’s him!

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