The CW's animated Constantine series will be darker than the previous live-action show that aired on NBC in 2014-2015.
For DC fans, Matt Ryan has made the role of Constantine his own. Fans were devastated when NBC canceled the series. Thankfully, it didn't take long for Ryan to make his way into the Arrowverse. To everybody's surprise, when CW finally announced a new Constantine series, it took a very different format. CW revealed that they were working on an animated series of six 10-minute episodes.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, CW Executive Vice President Peter Girardi gave fans an idea of what to expect. He confirmed that this is "Constantine from the Vertigo comics," and described it as "darker than the show." In Girardi's view, the expected audience will be older than previous CW Seed series Vixen. He couldn't help quipping that it would be up to "responsible parents" to decide whether or not to let their children watch the Constantine animated series.
It sounds as though the Constantine animated series will have a far greater sense of scale to it than anything fans have seen before. After all, Girardi pointed out that he has to ask one simple question: "Why does this need to be animated?" While live-action series have budgetary constraints, an animated show can get away with mystic effects that are infinitely more eye-popping. Girardi jokingly described it as "pencil power."
The real question is whether or not the Constantine animated series will tie into the Arrowverse. The Vixen series did, so there's clearly a precedent, but Girardi implied that was more of a happy accident. This time round, he notes that his team has a "strategy around it," involving close communication with Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim. That certainly creates the opportunity for more deliberate tie-ins, but Girardi was careful not to guarantee them.
Constantine has played an important role in the Arrowverse, teaming up with Oliver Queen to restore the soul of Sara Lance. He's most recently teamed up with the Legends, requesting Sara pay back the debt she owed him. Fans are eager to see Constantine return, and it's not hard to imagine it happening. Ryan could easily star in a relaunched series, or join up with the Legends. It will be interesting to see whether or not the CW Seed animated series lays the foundation for Constantine's return.
Constantine debuts on CW Seed in 2018.