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

Published 10 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.
TAGS: constantine

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  1. I reckon Johnny Lee Miller from Elementary and Trainspotting, he looks the part plus he’s a good actor

  2. I’d go with Paul Bettany as my best bet. That being said, I think they’re going at this all wrong. If there was to be a Hellblazer TV series, it should be by a British film company with Brit writers at the helm, or at least a co-production of both UK and US production companies (Because Constantine does go to both places!), like Rome or Extras.

  3. I won’t really call this the Hellblazer tv show. More like the watered down pg-Constantine we got on the pages of The New52! Constantine. Anyway, since NBC has been wowing us with Hannibal and crafted the very potential The Blacklist, I might give this a shot.

    And I always wanted Dominic West to play Constantine ever since I started watching The Wire and his character-Jimmy McNulty is basically John Constantine.

  4. I think Marc Warren would be great at it. He’s just known enough because of Wanted and a Dr Who episode, but he’s also a TV actor on British television. He’d be a great, “Oh, it’s that guy!”

  5. At least four decent choices (the 1st guy is a bit too old.) , Paul Bettany has that worn, weathered and a bit daft attitude that kinda embodies John Constantine along with a wicked cruelty streak. One other name no ones thrown out is Ewan McGregor, he got the boyish charming thug /heroic good guy/substance abuser. TV won’t allow for a true pre-52 Constantine so no chain smoking , seal predator , badass jerk. Best we can hope for is a dark moody anti-hero.

  6. I think of the choices you’ve put forward Callum Blue and Ryan Kwanten are probably the best. Both young and reasonably well known in the States (which is probably a must for getting picked up for a series order) they can both play the kind of sarcastic, world weary wit that Constantine has. With True Blood coming to an end, Kwanten will be unemployed and this would be a good opportunity for him to showcase himself as something other than dumb jock (indies aside).

    Paul Bettany could also work, he has name recognition that the other two don’t have and his face and voice could be used to promote the show with greater ease than any of the other candidates. But he doesn’t have that rough edge that John Constantine tends to have.

    • Watch Bettany in Gangster #1 and you might form another opinion of his ability to play roles with some edge to them.

    • John needs to be played by a scouser we are sick of cockneys

  7. STEPHEN DORFF

  8. callum blue is my choice as well

  9. How about Josh Hartnett , Its time for him to play a starting role

  10. i wash thinking David Anders could probably pull it off to …

  11. I always pictured Brad Pitt as a good movie Constantine. He may have been the sexiest man alive at once but know that he has a few years on him and is a bit rugged he would be great but maybe not for a TV show.

  12. Anyone remember in late 2012 when I said that if they bring Constantine back, he should be played by Stephen Graham?

    One member laughed, insulted me then went on to say “No, Jude Law would be the best choice” while throwing in a few choice words about my apparent lack of intelligence and taste in actors.

    As Ash says in Evil Dead 2, “Who’s laughing now?”

    • Jude Law hasn’t done any TV work since 1991. I suppose they could choose him, but I don’t think he’d choose back.

      • Yep, which is one of several reasons I thought the Jude Law suggestion was insane.

        Then again, it’s the internet, crazy people dwell online.

        If they have Zatanna in the show, I suggest Alexandra Daddario. She’d be brilliant.

        • Jude Law would be good for the big screen but for Constantine tv show i would choose Stephen Moyer

  13. For fans of Hellblazer: watch a trailer for the pilot of “Original Sins”, made by a low-budget company in NY, at http://www.mmwahl.com

  14. If Keanu Reeves doesn’t agree to star as Constantine, I’d say that out of the choices they listed in the article, Callum Blue or Paul Bettany would be my next choices….

  15. Hugh Laurie or Tim Roth

  16. Where is Spike from Buffy? He has the accent, the badittude, and the look.

  17. What about Callum Keith Rennie aka Leoban from BSG and he was on Harper’s Island??

  18. Hugh Laurie or Keanu Reeves.

    Keanu needs a win, doubt that he cares too much though. Hugh Laurie has been away from our TV screens for too long.

  19. What about Colin O’Donoghue? (from OUAT)

  20. 10 points for whoever came up with Callum Blue.

  21. Paul Bettany, Mr. MacGregor, or even Simon Baker would all get my vote.

  22. I’ve always argued that James Marsters (Spike from Buffy and Angel) would be a perfect choice. He’s aged perfectly into a spot-on look.

    http://www.themarysue.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/JamesMarsters.jpeg

  23. I like the Paul Bettany choice. I have to say that I think Charlie Hunnam will get the role, plus he’d be great.

  24. I have previously listed Iain Glen and Paul Bettany as my choices in other posts, so I am glad to see them on this list. I also listed Sean Bean. I didn’t think of Callum Blue, but I can definately see him in the part..Especially after seeing his role in that show where he was a reaper in Dead Like Me. I like Mark Warren and David Anders as suggestions, too…

  25. I’d love to see David Tennant give it a go.

  26. It seems that people seem to miss the fact that this show will be on NBC…shows like this are dead in the water on network TV. The TV network limitations in terms of budgets, production values and yes content, as in censorship, are killer for shows like this one. At least “Constantine” with Keanu Reeves, another one of those “meh”, wasted potential movies, was R-rated. Given the amount of profanity, nudity and violence of the graphic novels, NBC is a non-starter in my opinion. This show would be best suited for at least AMC or FX, even those networks have limitations in terms of content, so STARZ, Showtime or HBO would be ideal, but highly unlikely…

    A few years ago NBC tried its hands at a series “geared towards adultzs”, it was called “The Playboy Club”….and as expected…it flopped. A show that was titled like that, but devoid of sexuality, nudity etc. You get my point…

    Besides…the producer of “The Mentalist”, one of the worst TV shows in recent memory? And David S. Goyer, who is a hack of the first class? No thank you, count me out of this one…

  27. Apparently A Paul Bettany and an unknown upcoming British actor named Kris Johnson are being tried out for the part. Looked up Kris Johnson was in a an indie called who needs enemies. Need to watch before I decide if he’s good or not but he looks the part.

  28. What about David Oakes from The Borgias? He rocks at playing in a dubious immoral quagmire – perfect for Constantine.

  29. I think ray liotta can also be a good choice to play constantine