‘Constantine’: J.J. Abrams’ Dark Reboot of DC’s Paranormal Investigator, Plot, Cast, Origin, and more

DC Comics’ John Constantine has had the ride of a lifetime. Rather than a rollercoaster going up and down the tracks, it’s more of a rollercoaster just climbing. After starring in his own feature film, a show on NBC, as well as making an appearance in The CW’s Arrowverse and a handful of films by Warner Bros. Animation, Constantine will now be heading to HBO Max. Deadline and Variety have both reported that J.J. Abrams’ production company, Bad Robot, will be heading a Constantine series alongside WarnerMedia for the streaming platform.

What is Constantine about?

Though we know a thing or two about John Constantine from the shows that we’ve watched, the new series will not be connected to The CW’s Arrowverse shows. To go alongside that, the titular role will not be reprised by the very embodiment of Constantine himself, Matt Ryan. The plan for the series, however, is to focus on a younger version of the trenchcoat-fashioned paranormal investigator and exorcist.

Fortunately for longtime DC fans, the series would be directly connected to the Justice League Dark series which is also being worked on by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot for HBO Max. I’m sure you’ve heard of the normal Justice League wherein heroes and superpowers co-exist to fight for… well… justice, really. Instead of the conventional Hall of Justice, Justice League Dark is DC Comics’ lineup of paranormal heroes and antiheroes who use their abilities to solve paranormal dilemmas––ones that The Flash and Aquaman would rather miss out on. Alongside Constantine in the lineup of the paranormal are Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Detective Chimp, Man-Bat, Traci Thirteen, Nabu, Upside-Down Man, and Blue Devil, among others.

Who are attached to the reboot?

As far as the cast goes, only one thing is for sure––Constantine will be played by a non-white actor. Unfortunately, as it is too soon to tell because it was only recently given a chance to exist in the streaming world, no one has been cast for the role just yet. Guy Bolton, however, has already done his part in writing the pilot and is already planning to set up the writers’ room next month, as per Deadline. The representatives from HBO Max have opted to decline to confirm or comment about the reports.

Where did Constantine originate from?

Originally, John Constantine first appeared in DC Comics’ The Saga of Swamp Thing issue #37 in 1985––making the character 36 years old now. Three years later, however, he became the focal point of his own comic book series Hellblazer in 1988. John Constantine is a London-based chain-smoking warlock and detective who finds his fair share of the paranormal and demons whilst having personal issues. Hey, tell me about it, am I right?

As for its life in live-action, Constantine was first portrayed by Keanu Reeves in the 2005 film, Constantine. Matt Ryan then stepped up to play him in the NBC series titled Constantine as well and ran for just one season––from 2014 to 2015. Although, Ryan did reprise his role for The CW series Arrow and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. As for animated films, Constantine has already been involved in the likes of Justice League Dark, Constantine: City of Demons, and Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.

Now, Constantine and Justice League Dark are part of Abrams’ and Bad Robot’s bigger picture––oh, and the $500 million deal to create films, series, games, and other forms of media for WarnerMedia until 2024. Alongside the two shows, Abrams is also working on Overlook, a horror-thriller inspired by Stephen King’s The Shining. Abrams is also responsible for Duster, a story of a getaway driver for a criminal during the 70s for HBO Max.

Written by Hailey van Braam

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