We all sell our souls sooner or later.
If that’s true, we’d like to shake the hand of the person that sold their soul for this!
Ever since the release of the 2005 film, Constantine, the prospect of the demon hunter extraordinaire’s story being adapted on the screen has shown extreme promise. And ever since the release of the film, we’ve been patiently waiting for news of another spin-off of the character – hoping in the darkest shadows of the souls we weren’t strong enough to give up that someone out there would make it happen. Well, it turns out that all those restless nights of wishing for a reboot to fill the hollowness those wasted souls left behind finally paid off! NBC has officially released the trailer for a new series coming out some time in the fall of 2014 entitled Constantine. The show will follow the life of John Constantine, an antihero appearing in the DC Comics series, Hellblazer.
For those of you who have never heard of this fictitious character, ComicVine shortly describes him as:
“…a working-class magician, occult detective and a golden-tongued con man. He is well-known for his scathing wit, endless cynicism, ruthless cunning and constant chain smoking. A rougish counterculture anti-hero, Constantine is also a strident humanist driven by a heartfelt desire to defend mankind from the forces of evil…”
In the 2005 film he is portrayed by Keanu Reeves (known for his role as Neo in The Matrix franchise) as a chain-smoking, loner kind of character who dabbles in the detection of the supernatural. He is approached by Detective Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) who seeks to prove the nature of her sister’s death was not the cause of suicide but in fact something more mystical. As a man who is known for dealing with demonic forces in a less than friendly manner, Constantine is regarded as a top target of the citizens of Hell – even the Devil himself is revealed to be after his soul – and his interactions with Angela only further worsen his relationship with the fallen.
However, he willingly plunges into deeper waters to assist the detective who is later shown to be pursued by the demons not only for her recent involvement in their affairs but also to act as a portal between Hell and Earth for Lucifer’s one and only son. Overall, it’s a pretty decent film and we’d recommend it to anyone that wants to get an idea of who Constantine is.
Keep in mind, of course, that the TV series won’t follow the events of this movie and that Constantine (2005) is a stand alone film.
In fact, the trailer NBC released completely blows its predecessor out of the water. Getting away from the plain fact that it’s a TV show and therefore capable of exploring characters and story lines more in-depth, the trailer itself implies a great deal of thought was put into the development of the series.
We first see this significant change in the casting choice for the anti-hero who will be portrayed by none other than Matt Ryan. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, we don’t blame you! It didn’t ring a bell for us at first either, but upon looking up his filmography, we can see he boasts a fair amount of appearances on various TV series from Criminal Minds to the more recent Vikings. We think it’s safe enough to say that he’s a closer casting choice for the character of John Constantine in comparison to the character’s comic origins. (Check out the list of links at the bottom for a look at the fanmade short film, Hellblazer (2013), which was adapted directly from the comics and took this approach as well.)
Another change we can see is the overall personality of the NBC’s Constantine versus Reeves’. In the trailer they released (which can be found at the end of this article), he seems more sociable and open about his desire to assist the world with its supernatural issues. However, we may be mistaking this altruist persona for something more selfish considering the official description for the show states that he’s left his “do-gooder life” behind. Whatever the truth turns out to be, Constantine seems to be searching for a way to save his damned soul from the pit of Hell – perhaps through what he deems are good deeds. After all, saving human lives from the grasp of demons and the like must rank pretty high up there on Heaven’s scale of Good, right? Well, the latest opportunity comes in the form of Liv Aberdine, the daughter of a man Constantine claims to know. It’s revealed that he is in fact one of Constantine’s oldest friends and that the master of the occult had previously promised the man that he would protect his daughter – though from what, we can’t be completely sure. However, we’re assuming it has something to do with this “mysterious new evil” they’ll be introducing throughout the series.
Aside from that, why would she need protection? She’s just an ordinary human, right? All flesh and bones and no real danger to the wicked
forces of Hell? Well, it’s a classic you see them, they see you set-up where Liv happens to have a second sight that allows her to “see the worlds behind our world and predict supernatural occurrences”. An ability like that must be considered a pretty big threat to the creatures that lurk in the shadows and wish to remain unseen, so it’s no wonder her life may very well be at risk. The reason she hasn’t been pursued before this point is that the series begins at a time where Liv is just coming to terms with her power as seen by the clear expression of horror she has on her face throughout the trailer.
Naturally, Constantine’s role then, being a seasoned demon hunter with years and years of gathered dark arts knowledge and experience, is to guide her through understanding her new-found ability and introduce her to the world of the occult. Along the way, it seems the two of them will become the saviors of not only the human race but that of the angels as well. And if the angels have something to fear too, well, it must be a hell of a problem they’ve all gotten themselves into.
But of course, we can’t solve all of Constantine‘s mysteries before the show’s premiere date, so we’ll just have to wait until the fall to see what happens! In the meantime, check out the links below and share your thoughts with us on the series so far in the comments section.
Liv Aberdine will be portrayed by Lucy Griffiths who has appeared in productions like Winter’s Tale (2014) and True Blood (2012-2013). Harold Perrineau, known for Lost (2004-2010) and Sons of Anarchy (2012), is cast as Manny, Constantine’s guardian angel who has a knack for stepping into other people’s bodies. Charles Halford, who has appeared in the series and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013-2014) and True Detective (2014), will play the role of Chas, Constantine’s closest and longest surviving friend.
For more information on Constantine and his origin, visit the Comic Vine webpage.
For more information on the upcoming series itself, visit the official NBC webpage.
Follow the official NBC Twitter account for updates on the series @NBCConstantine.
For a look at the fanmade 2013 short film, Hellblazer, visit: Hellblazer: John Constantine.
First Look Images
Constantine will premiere on Fridays, starting some time in Fall 2014.