Fans of the DC/Vertigo series Hellblazer had understandably high hopes for NBC's Constantine, an adaptation which was supposed to hew far closer to the source material than the 2005 film starring Keanu Reeves. For one thing, as a blond Welshman, Matt Ryan was a closer fit to the role of sorcerer John Constantine, and the ongoing adventures of the "dabbler in the Dark Arts" are arguably better suited to the episodic nature of television than a feature film.
Despite debuting to solid ratings opposite the 2014 World Series, Constantine could not lock down a consistent share week to week. Just when the ratings appeared to be on the rise, they would drop yet again. NBC wound up halting production on season 1 at 13 episodes, and while the network has yet to officially cancel the show, it also has yet to be renewed.
Which means that this past Friday's 'Waiting for the Man' served as the season 1 finale. Featuring the return of the characters Papa Midnite (Michael James Shaw) and Jim Corrigan (Emmett Scanlan), the episode was a relative high note: according to a report from ComicBook.com, the finale gained 6% in the ratings with a total of 3.1 million viewers.
Which still leaves the show's future as murky as ever. A recent rumor teased the possibility of NBC moving the show to its cousin network SyFy as Hellblazer, but according to a tweet by SyFy executive Ted A'Zary, that rumor is officially unfounded. Still, the general consensus seems to be that despite a shaky plot structure which apes Supernatural rather than delve into some of the edgier aspects of the Hellblazer comic, Constantine deserves a second season.
Unsurprisingly, the show's stars certainly think so. Matt Ryan has gone on the record about the aspects of Constantine he'd like to explore in a (still hypothetical) season 2, and talk of him appearing in Guillermo del Toro's Justice League Dark film continues to persist. And he's not the only one sounding hopeful for the future.
Lost alum Harold Perrineau, who plays the less-than-trustworthy angel Manny, spoke to ComicBook.com just before the season finale aired and confirmed that despite halting production at 13 episodes, showrunners Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer would not attempt some kind of slapdash wrap-up of every plot thread, saying: "I would say there isn't any closure at all - that it's just the beginning."
Neither Ryan nor Perrineau are necessarily privy to what's happening behind the scenes with Constantine, but the lack of any official cancellation by NBC (so far, anyway), is cause for some hope.
Indeed, when asked about the characters from the comic books he'd like see cross Manny's path, Perrineau had some specific ideas, many of which echo plenty of fan sentiment since the show began:
Well, I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens with Emmett Scanlan as Corrigan. I'm looking forward to seeing how The Spectre and Manny, how that goes down. A lot of people are talking about Swamp Thing. I'm really curious about what happens when you add those kinds of elements and Manny. How those things are going to work, so I'm curious about all of it and seeing how creative our writing staff is going to be. There's a lot of it. There's a lot of it I know, there's a lot of stuff I still dont know because I'm still reading.
The show's early tease of Doctor Fate may have been an easter egg, but Constantine has spent time developing the future Spectre Jim Corrigan - sort of. He hasn't had a lot to do, but Corrigan's destiny has been glimpsed by Zed Martin (Angélica Celaya), and the show's overall forces of "rising darkness" still have not appeared in anything beyond a vague description.
Time will tell if NBC decides to port Constantine over to SyFy, but the show deserves a chance to grow beyond a token "bandwagon" entry and into a worthy adaptation of a fan-favorite comic book.
Constantine may or may not return for Season 2. Stay tuned as more information becomes available.