Former Constantine TV series showrunner Daniel Cerone offers his thoughts on Matt Ryan’s continuation of the character within The CW’s Arrowverse. When it was first announced that Welsh actor Matt Ryan was set to take over the role of John Constantine for an NBC TV series in 2014, many fans were skeptical. After all, lots of people were disappointed in Constantine’s first adaptation, a 2005 theatrical feature starring dark-haired American actor Keanu Reeves as the usually blonde, quintessentially British deadpan snarker.
Thankfully, Ryan impressed greatly with his portrayal of DC’s dabbler in the dark arts, slipping on the character like a glove. Unfortunately, that didn’t translate to ratings success, and NBC canceled Constantine after a single season of 13 episodes. Ryan’s rendition of John Constantine made such an impression on fans though that he was recruited to make a guest appearance as the character on a fall 2015 episode of Arrow entitled “Haunted.”
Constantine’s appearance in the Arrowverse went over well, and he was invited back for a two-episode appearance on Legends of Tomorrow that concluded tonight on The CW, to additional positive sentiment. While Ryan continues to enjoy his time as Constantine, one man who hasn’t worked with the character again since 2015 is former Constantine TV series showrunner Daniel Cerone. Still, that doesn’t mean he’s not watching and loving seeing Ryan work his magic. Cerone told the following to ComicBook:
“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen an actor so completely bring to life an established comic book character as Matt Ryan did for John Constantine, Between the NBC series and his subsequent appearances on CW, it would feel strange to see or hear anyone else in that role at this point.”
At this juncture, it’s likely many fans completely agree with Cerone’s take on Ryan making the Constantine role his own. As for seeing or hearing anyone else play the part, Ryan will soon further establish himself as the definitive Constantine actor by voicing the character in an upcoming animated series on CW Seed. He also voiced Constantine in last year’s DC animated film Justice League Dark. It remains to be seen if Ryan will be called upon to play Constantine in Warner Bros.’ planned live-action Justice League Dark film, but history suggests that the answer will probably sadly be no.
Films aside, one hopes that Matt Ryan has a long future of playing John Constantine in both the TV and animated realms ahead of him. He seems to love the character, and it’s hard to imagine he’d decline if asked to keep coming back. With the ongoing popularity of Ryan’s Constantine, one wonders if another live-action solo series will ever be in the cards.
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