Although John Constantine currently boasts a generous cult following and enjoys some memorable guest appearances in various Arrowverse series long after his solo show met an unfortunate demise, I won’t soon forget that he was once the centerpiece in one of my least favorite comic book movies of all time.
Of course, those familiar with the source material are well aware that two of the demonologist’s most obvious qualities are that he’s blonde and British, neither of which were retained in the feature film, and help with current actor Matt Ryan being viewed as the definitive iteration. Granted, I’m not going to be a stickler for hair color because I support a blonde James Bond in Daniel Craig, but to not retain a character’s nationality is a bit off-putting, not to mention the absence of his trusted trenchcoat. Really, it’d be similar to seeing Superman without his cape.
On that note, in a recent interview with Coming Soon, Constantine director Francis Lawrence admitted he would’ve done some things differently if he could have, saying:
“Wow. It’s a tricky question. Now I’ve made seven movies, that was my first. I think there’s definite story issues, I would change some things there. I would definitely give it more levity, things like that. It’s tricky because if I’m starting from scratch I would have had him, like in the material, be blonde and English. Right? I wasn’t the first one hired on the movie, so it’s a whole different thing, but it’s tricky because I love Keanu and I think he did a great job in the movie and all of that, but it’s a tough tough thing.”
Looking back, Keanu Reeves being hot off The Matrix trilogy was probably instrumental in landing him the gig, and as much as I loved him as Neo and John Wick, this particular role wasn’t the greatest fit for him, at least in my view. Regardless of that, the movie had greater problems than casting.
As Lawrence continued, he revealed that he was somewhat limited from the get-go:
“If I’d known we were getting an ‘R’ I would have really made an ‘R’-rated movie.We followed all the ‘PG-13’ rules, but still got an ‘R’ so it’s not really an ‘R’. That’s what I would suggest.”
Funny enough, Constantine has been able to go to darker places during his time on TV. And, most fortunate for us fans, his upcoming animated web series may be his darkest adventure yet, so keep watching this space as more develops on that front.
Source: Coming Soon